The government aims to launch the modern methods of construction (MMC) scheme by the end of the year to help increase the take up of MMC for homebuilding.
In its response to a report on MMC by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, the government said it has set up an MMC working group with lenders, valuers and the industry in line to look at assurance, insurance and mortgages for MMC for the residential sector.
The government said it recognises that the most important output of the group is their proposed unified quality assurance scheme for assessing all new technologies to improve their acceptability for mortgages and warranties.
Robert Jenrick MP (pictured), Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: “We are convinced that this ‘scheme will make a major contribution towards increasing lender confidence in MMC and increase their access to mortgages on these type of homes and are therefore very keen to ensure it is launched as soon as possible.
“To ensure this is the case we have continued to provide necessary support to the group to facilitate timely production of this important product and are confident that it would be launched before the end of this year. I recognise how modern methods of construction can help the market to go further.
“This could be in regeneration, or to develop unused brownfield land and hard to access plots – as is already happening in towns and cities all over England.
“I have been told by many in the offsite industry of the range of barriers to expansion, and whilst I know my predecessors have taken steps to address these, I plan to look further at how I can support this sector to go further, and faster.
“There are challenges, of course, such as finding people with the right skills. I see the opportunities for those already working in construction as well as the potential for a new future workforce.
“The more we modernise the process of building and make construction an exciting place to work, the more we will keep experienced staff in the industry and attract a new, diverse workforce of talented young people.”
The government has provided financial support through £2.5bn of its £4.5bn home building fund to support builders using MMC, alongside other new entrants to the market.
To date a total of £236m from the fund has been allocated to schemes that incorporate MMC.
Jenrick added: “Diversifying the market and ensuring it delivers a greater variety of products will not only result in the delivery of additional homes but will also increase market resilience. We need a market that can adapt, to the changing demands of consumers and technology, but also to changing economic conditions.”
“In short, diversification can lead to more homes being delivered faster and to a higher quality, with significant financial benefits.
“We are committed to ensuring that as the use of MMC expands, quality and safety remains very much at the forefront of what we are trying to achieve. I am excited to see what the offsite industry has in store over the next few years. I believe it will play a key role in building better homes and stronger communities.
“While we facilitate this, keeping quality and safety at the heart of home-building will be an essential part of our strategy. Britain can become a world-leader in MMC – and I want to work with the sector to make that ambition a reality.