London’s modular housing scheme for the homeless opens to tenders

London’s modular housing scheme for the homeless opens to tenders

A not-for-profit company committed to tackling homelessness in London has issued an invitation to tender for the design and manufacture of modular temporary accommodation.

PLACE (Pan-London Accommodation Collaborative Enterprise) is looking for precision-manufactured family homes that will have the quality of permanent housing but can be moved from one site to another as required. The accommodation will be placed on vacant sites that would otherwise remain underused over the short to medium term (known as ‘meanwhile’ sites).

PLACE, which was set up by a group of London’s boroughs earlier this year in response to growing rates of homelessness, will use the modular housing to provide high-quality, local temporary accommodation for people needing a home. There are currently over 54,300 London households living in temporary accommodation – of which nearly 44,000 are families with children.

The project has been developed by the London Housing Directors’ Group in collaboration with partners from across London local government. Supported by the Greater London Authority, which is investing £11m from its innovation fund, and by the umbrella group London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, PLACE is hosted by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and has an initial target of delivering 200 modular homes across the capital.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing and Planning, commented: “Rising rates of homelessness represent a momentous challenge for the capital and London’s boroughs are determined to work together to secure better options for local families in need of a home.

“PLACE is exactly the sort of exciting new approach we need to see — innovative collaboration that will improve outcomes for homeless Londoners.”

Mark Baigent, PLACE’s Director, added: “Our aim is to challenge and inspire the housing design and construction industry to create an innovative and high-quality product to meet London’s opportunities and needs head-on.

“We want to procure attractive and spacious factory-built homes that can be easily moved from site to site around London. We look forward to sharing our vision and seeing what the rapidly growing modular market can offer.”

PLACE will deliver a mixture of two- and three-bedroom family properties, which boroughs have identified as the property type most needed for homeless households. The company will own the units, leading to a more cost-effective option for boroughs than they would get from leasing units directly from a supplier.

A launch event will be held on Wednesday 25 July at 9am at London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council Chambers. This will be an opportunity for potential providers to hear more about the programme and ask questions. The deadline for submissions of the Expression of Interest Selection Questionnaire is 15th August 2018.

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