Jenrick: One in five new affordable homes must be MMC

housing secretary robert jenrick

At least one-fifth of all homes planned through the government’s £12bn affordable homes programme will be built using modern methods of construction (MMC), the government has confirmed.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG) had made the quota a condition of the £12bn programme (AHP) announced last month.

Guidance published by the department alongside the new AHP said ‘partnership’ deals with major housing associations would require them to deliver 25% of homes via MMC – but did not set a specific quota for MMC across the bulk of the programme.

Speaking at a panel discussion looking at a post-COVID landscape at the Conservative party’s virtual conference yesterday, Jenrick said he, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the chief secretary to the treasury, Stephen Barclay, were “hugely supportive” of MMC construction.

Jenrick said: “We want this to be a significant part of our future housing investment plans, and indeed at the spending review later this year we’ve made it a condition of our £12bn affordable homes programme that at least 20% of those homes should be manufactured through modern methods.”

He added the government will review the quota every year and increase the percentage, depending on market conditions.

Jenrick also said he wanted to see MMC as a significant feature of the chancellor’s spending review, which due to be published later this year. 

“If we are able to do any further investments, then I would like them to be majority MMC in the years ahead,” he said.

Read more on MMC:

Permitted development

Jenrick said the expansion of permitted development rights as part of the government’s overhaul of the planning reforms created an opportunity to “demolish” what he called the mistakes of the recent past.

“You do see quite a lot of empty derelict buildings in town and city centres that were put up, often poorly constructed, not within the character of those places, particularly in market towns in the sixties and seventies,” Jenrick said.

He added that changing this state was one of the reasons why he had brought forward the expansion in permitted development rights in the first place.

He said it meant “local people this time around can decide what they want these buildings to look like which are often so central to their lives”.

Main image: Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. Credit: Pippa Fowles/No 10 Downing Street

Read next: LGA warns planning reforms put affordable homes under threat

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