Episode 6 Building homes fit for the future
In this episode of Raising the roof, we zoom in on modern methods of construction (MMC) and how they could help solve both the climate and housing crisis.
Our CEO and host Nick Atkin is joined by Rosie Toogood, CEO at Legal & General (L&G) Modular Homes, and our Executive Director Growth and Assets, Andy Gamble.
When asked what he thought was stopping housing associations from shifting to MMC, Andy says: “I think there’s a tendency to just do what you’ve always done because you are guaranteed that work – it’s a bit kind of risk-averse. There’s a fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or what this or that happens down the line.” He goes on to say: “There is – as I alluded to earlier – the cost element as well. [People sometimes think] ‘well this is going to cost more so we couldn’t possibly innovate because it costs a little bit more. But, you know if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got I guess.”
Commenting on the future of the housing market, Andy reflected on last year: “I’ve heard this said a few times before – there was a housing crisis before the pandemic, so there still is. So, whether that’s demand for shared ownership, whether that’s a creation of new households, people wishing to rent affordably, then it’s still there. I think the other thing is, we did have a bumper 2021, fuelled by interventions by the government and others [like] low-interest rates, stamp duty holiday, all those sorts of things. So in lots of ways, it was a very artificial year.”
Explaining the possibilities innovation offers for the future of modular homes, Rosie says: “The opportunity for robotics, for automated handling [and] things like that, is just endless. The good thing about manufacturing and continuous improvement is that there’s more and more and more opportunity. People are innovating in that space to enable production to happen in a more simple and easy way.” She goes on to say: “I think this industry will be transformed. It won’t all be built in a factory but I think a lot of the techniques and innovation we’re using even on traditionally built houses, you’ll see them brought to the construction sites and start to transform what’s done there.”
About the host
Nick Atkin, CEO at Yorkshire Housing
Born and brought up in Doncaster he joined Yorkshire Housing in 2019. Since this time, he’s delivered transformational change throughout the business to meet the future opportunities and challenges.
About the guests
Rosie Toogood, CEO at Legal & General (L&G) Modular Homes
Rosie was born in Gateshead. She’s leading the way in the modular homes business. She’s led L&G from its start-up phase through to delivery. L&G is now on its way to delivering 850 modular homes across the UK and is planning to deliver 3,000 homes per year over the next five years.
L&G is changing the housing market using its modern design, manufacturing, and construction approach to deliver affordable high quality, sustainable homes in half the time of traditional build. L&G’s first major site at Selby is nearing completion and they’re proud to have handed over their first homes to Yorkshire Housing.
Andy Gamble, Executive Director Growth and Assets at Yorkshire Housing
Andy has been involved in housing since 1986, working across both the public and private sector. He joined Yorkshire Housing in 2017. Andy heads our 8,000 new homes programme and is responsible for the strategic asset management of our existing 18,000 homes.
Andy is also leading our climate change response. He’s recently put the finishing touches to our road map to achieve zero carbon homes and exchanged contracts on our first commissioned zero carbon homes site.