Friday, May 22, 2020

"build affordable Homes for Heroes"

Very interesting (and topical) housing initiative led by G15. Key workers don't just deserve a "clap" on a Thursday (as much as many appreciate it) they need access to decent pay, conditions and access to safe, secure and truly affordable housing.

"Join us to build affordable Homes for Heroes

An alliance of housing associations, offsite manufacturing firms and many others across the property sector has launched a call to the private, public and charitable sectors to join together to build low cost Homes for Heroes, to thank our heroic essential workers who’ve kept Britain going during the coronavirus outbreak.

Inspired by the ‘Homes fit For Heroes’ programme after the First World War, the group has set out a broad outline of how 100,000 new affordable homes for these workers, could be built throughout the country. The alliance, which includes the G15, stand ready to deliver but would be able to do much more in partnership with the Government, the private sector, local councils, health trusts and charities.

From NHS staff, to care workers, teachers, refuse collectors, delivery workers and many more, Homes for Heroes would see the construction of good quality affordable homes which are well designed, energy efficient and digitally connected. The homes should be equipped with private outside areas and access to high quality green spaces. They should be affordable to heroes on the lowest incomes and include options for essential workers to buy an affordable home of their own – something that is out of reach in many of our cities.

To work at scale the efforts of housing associations would need to be supplemented by a large programme of public and corporate giving, innovative use of public land, planning flexibilities and an expansion in manufacturing capacity to build high-tech homes in factories.

Precision manufactured homes would be faster, greener, cheaper and better quality and give an economic boost to the parts of the country that needs it most. As well as providing good quality places for our essential workers to live, a sustained Homes for Heroes building programme would support economic and social recovery.

The G15 is already housing many thousands of essential workers. Social housing is home to one third of London’s police officers and ambulance staff, and one third of workers in care-related jobs.

The G15 has created a report on how Homes for Heroes can be delivered, resting on four building blocks:

  1. Create a national programme of low-cost homes prioritised for the heroes who have put themselves at risk to keep us alive and healthy throughout this crisis.
  2. Deliver an initial burst of thousands of homes within months, by matching government funding with housing association resources to make completed homes and those under construction available on a low cost basis for essential workers
  3. Support a high-tech manufacturing base to create jobs across the country - powering a long-term ambitious programme to deliver the low-cost homes our heroes need,
  4. Spread the costs across society by part-funding the homes through public giving, public land, government funding and housing associations’ resources".

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