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Why do we still create housing solutions on such a finite resource as land?

There is nothing like a crisis to get the housing building sector to think differently about how they can deliver more affordable housing. Well, that’s been my naïve view – that a crisis leads to innovation; a step change that is required to kick start a new way of thinking and doing. As yet though, within the housing development field, we have yet to see such a step change. I guess, in part, due to the fact that the current crisis is fueling profits of a small number of mass house builder and developers, and, dare I say, registered housing providers – why would they change?

Go back four years ago, as I was mulling over what we all could see on the housing horizon, I innocently thought ‘surely we could build homes differently, more efficiently, in order to deliver a grant-free housing solution’. Well, four years on, and a lot of pain, disappointment, good luck and blind optimism later, Y:Cube Housing is about to birth its first scheme of 36 affordable, one-bed flats in Merton later this year.

Y:Cube is a volumetric (whole completed unit built in a factory) modular system which enables the units to stack easily on top and/or alongside each other, making it completely adaptable to the size and space available and, therefore, perfect for tight urban sites. They’re cheaper and quicker to build than traditional approaches and don’t compromise on quality or longevity.

As each unit is deployable, it can be used as semi-permanent accommodation on land that is leased. Why do we still create 150 housing solutions on such a finite resource as land? Why not allow schemes to breathe and adapt to meet the changing needs of the local community?

Something has to change and Y:Cube Housing is our contribution to challenge the status quo.


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Written by Andy Redfearn | Posted on 6th March 2015

Andy Redfearn Director of Housing and Development for YMCA London South West and initiator of Y:Cube Housing. YMCALSW is a registered charity working in many diverse areas including; Supported & Move on Housing; Health & Wellbeing; Family & Children’s Work; and Youth Work

Website: http://www.ymcalsw.org/ycube/