Commons inquiry launched into Modern Methods of Construction

Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will look at benefits and drawbacks experienced by housebuilders.

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The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a new inquiry into Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and its potential role in boosting housing supply.

According to the government’s Industrial Strategy, MMC has the potential to reform the residential construction sector toward a target of 300,000 new homes each year, and one million between 2017 and 2020.

The government has identified inconsistent demand in the housing sector and lack of collaborative construction supply chains in expanding MMC practices.

In a previous inquiry, the committee found increased use of MMC would require greater government support to give “lenders, consumers and builders the confidence to use new methods”.

This new inquiry will look at the benefits achieved by housebuilders that have used MMC techniques and some of the drawbacks experienced. It will examine how national and local government can support the use of MMC by and encourage innovation in the sector.

Committee Chair Clive Betts MP said with government acknowledging that the housing market as broken and needing a “variety of strategies” to be fixed, MMC had the potential to be a key element.

“It is important we understand (that) potential and effectiveness, and exactly how far they can go in supporting the government’s ambitions.

Equally we must ensure that modern methods are built to last – the radical changes to housing construction of the mid-twentieth century failed to survive five decades (and) cannot be repeated,” said Betts.

During the inquiry, the committee will look at how MMC has been implemented so far and its proven sustainability to certain kinds of developments or certain sizes of housebuilding company.

“Most importantly, we will be assessing how it can be used more widely, or improved, to deliver the quantity of high quality, affordable that is so badly needed in the UK,” said Betts.

MMC inquiry – Terms of Reference

The Committee is inviting submissions on:

  • What are the benefits of MMC, and how can they sustainably boost the housing supply?
  • What are the primary risks to increasing the use of MMC?
  • How could the government, Homes England and local authorities (a) increase demand for MMC to meet its homebuilding targets and (b) support the construction industry in increasing the use of MMC?
  • How can small and medium sized housebuilders better utilise MMC, including to support innovation and competition in the construction industry?
  • How can challenges related to access to finance (for both homebuyers and developers) be overcome?

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