Greater Manchester needs adaptable homes – and we’ve got just the thing
The housing elements of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) have two distinct objectives; to create affordable homes, and to create properties that can be adapted as people’s lives move from early adulthood, to family life, to older age.
Our hoUSe concept meets both of these objectives. An accessible, modular housing concept, it’s already attracted lots of people in the Greater Manchester region.
The creation of hoUSe came from Urban Splash’s constant desire to break design boundaries; founded by Jonathan Falkingham MBE and I in 1993, we’ve invested over £1billion in working with world-class architects and designers to restore old buildings around the country; creating an affordable breadth of homes in the process.
Now, we’re focusing on hoUSe. We believe it has the potential to revolutionise the housing sector, bring modular family housing to cities across the UK – and meet the GMSF targets of adaptable and affordable homes.
hoUSe is our modular, family housing concept which does just that. The simple buying process sees customers choose whether they want a 1,000 sq ft home over two floors, or a 1,500 sq ft, three storey home.
Then, customers can start having fun, determining a layout that’s suitable for them, be it specifying the number of bedrooms they want, or deciding whether to opt for garden living – the more conventional living space downstairs / bedrooms upstairs combo – or loft living, where living space is on the upper floors.
The best part is the layout can be changed in the future – meaning hoUSes can be adapted as this plan suggests in line with the changing needs of each occupier.
hoUSe can do this because it’s a modular product, created in a factory. This also means controlled, efficient environments and no cost variance; so no matter which part of the country we build in (we have hoUSes on site in Manchester and North Shields with more planned in Birmingham and Liverpool) the construction cost remains the same.
Manchester’s responded well to the concept; our first hoUSes at New Islington are already sold out, completed and fully occupied. We’re now on site at Irwell Riverside off Trinity Way where, earlier in the summer, all three-bedroom options sold out. Each site has offered hoUSe under the Government’s Help to Buy scheme too.
hoUSes has also been well received by influencers; the former Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP visited hoUSe while in post last year, and said: “I want to see other new entrants follow Urban Splash’s lead and break into the market. That way we can ensure a thriving industry that delivers the high-quality homes that hard-working people rightly deserve.”
There’s definitely room for more hoUSes in Manchester and this plan signals that.
Main image: New Islington Marina by Flickr user Alan Stanton.
Contributed by Paul Hildreth
Contributed by Jonathan Reynolds
Contributed by Cllr Richard Farnell
As well as steering Urban Splash through the many ups and recent downs of business, Tom chairs the Manchester International Festival and is a trustee of The Tate, Manchester United Foundation and is also Chancellor of The University of Manchester. Tom was awarded an MBE for services to architecture and urban regeneration in 1999.