Press release

Press Release: 29 September 2016

DCLG Secretary backs innovative factory-built homes to help tackle the housing crisis

• Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid visited a modular housing factory used by innovative affordable Pocket to speed up its supply of homes.

• Mr Javid reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to increase the supply of housing for first time buyers.

• Using innovative techniques like modular construction, Pocket can speed up construction times and will deliver around 1000 homes for first time buyers across London.

[Wednesday 28 September] Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid has today visited a modular housing factory used by affordable developer Pocket to examine ways to boost affordable housing supply. 

Mr Javid visited the Vision Modular Systems factory in Bedford with Pocket Chief Executive Marc Vlessing. While there he reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to delivering more affordable housing for first time buyers. 

Modular construction involves assembling flats in factories before transporting them to sites and installing them with cranes. 

Recent uses of this method on Pocket developments have allowed the developer to shave six months off construction time. It also results in significantly less disruption to existing residents than traditional construction methods: 60% fewer trucks coming to site and 90% less waste.

Pocket is rapidly increasing its investment in modular developments. To date it has invested £40m across three schemes in South London.  

Pocket is now one of the capital’s fastest growing affordable developers. With the help of a £26.4m loan from the Mayor of London’s housing covenant fund and a landmark strategic investment from American housing giant Related Companies, Pocket aims to build thousands of affordable homes for Londoners priced off the property ladder and salaried out of social housing.  

Pocket homes are built for singles and couples with an average household income of around £39,000. All of their homes are 20-30% cheaper than comparable local prices. The last completed Pocket flats sold for £165,000.

Secretary of State for Local Government the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP said:

“This Government is planning the most ambitious house building programme since the 1970s and innovative developers like Pocket are helping us deliver on this policy. 

“Modular construction is an exciting supply side initiative that will play a central role in ensuring that everyone who aspires to homeownership has the opportunity to attain it.”

Pocket Chief Executive Marc Vlessing said:

“Pocket is always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver affordable housing for London’s first time buyers. Modular construction is a way we can do this even faster. 

With Government support we’re confident modular construction can provide a major solution to the housing crisis.”