22.05.20

Homes for Heroes: Why we need to give something back to our incredible key workers

In the face of enormous adversity, our key workers have shown immense courage during this incredibly testing time. From our doctors, nurses and carers, to our bus drivers, shop assistants and bin men, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

It is why we hear a ripple of applause every Thursday evening, covering all corners of the country. Our collective showing of solidarity means a great deal to our NHS workers, but applause can only go so far. 

It is now time for action.

That is why we are proud to be a part of the Homes for Heroes campaign, to show our appreciation for everything our key workers have done to protect us, keep us safe and healthy, and ensure that we have access to essentials. 

Echoing the ‘Homes fit for Heroes’ programme that welcomed soldiers back from the Western Front in World War I a century ago, the Homes for Heroes campaign is a national alliance of housing associations, public figures, business leaders and modular housing manufacturers such as ourselves, calling on the government to build 100,000 new modular homes for exclusively for key workers. 

We’re calling on the government to help fund the initiative alongside private investors and housing associations, using public land to ensure that the homes can be built and delivered quickly. 

And crucially, the homes will be built in factories. Speed is of the essence in the post-Covid recovery, and given that offsite manufacturing can deliver homes twice as fast it must be at the forefront of the government and industry’s plans. 

Offsite manufactured homes benefit from improved quality and air tightness, meaning that homes are far more energy-efficient, significantly reducing resident’s bills. 

We have over seven million key workers here in the UK. And we believe that every single one of them deserves a precision-engineered, energy-efficient, beautifully designed and digitally connected home, just like the ones we build every day. 

As defined by the government, key workers include NHS workers and carers; people working in education and childcare; those supporting the food chain such as farmers, supermarket workers and delivery drivers; transport workers; those in local and national government; and key public services including the fire service, police and armed forces.

Unfortunately, housing is unaffordable for many key workers, especially in cities like London. A study from PwC showed that primary school teachers in the capital spent on average 40 percent of their wages on private renting, making it highly unaffordable.

That’s why the campaign is working on ensuring that every home is truly affordable and comes with private outside areas and high-quality green space.

As the country looks to get back to some sense of normality, let us never forget all the incredible work that so many people did to keep us safe, and let’s repay our debt with high-quality, affordable modular homes.

 

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