Tory calls for modern prefab homes in Sunderland to counter housing shortage

Coun Michael Dixon.
Coun Michael Dixon.

A Tory councillor is calling for modern pre-fabricated homes to be built in Sunderland to increase the availability of residential properties.

Coun Michael Dixon, who used to be a chartered surveyor, took up the issue as the Government is looking at the possibility of building prefab houses to tackle the housing shortage nationally.

Coun Graeme Miller.

Coun Graeme Miller.

The St Michael’s ward councillor tabled a motion on the subject at the last full Sunderland City Council meeting.

He said: “This idea is in my opinion worth exploring. It is a type of housing manufacturers prefer to call ‘modular homes’, where the cost would be much cheaper and the installation massively quicker.

“Designs vary but they can be clad in traditional-looking brickwork giving continuity with the surrounding housing.

“The current Government is already looking closely at this type of design to tackle the historical housing shortage.

It is a type of housing manufacturers prefer to call ‘modular homes’, where the cost would be much cheaper and the installation massively quicker

Coun Michael Dixon

“Ultimately there may be opportunities for these properties to be sold, but initially if a suitable local brownfield site could be identified, demand sounded-out, a small development to rent is worthy of being seriously considered by a housing provider.

“If it proved popular and successful then the possibilities are unlimited and I would expect the council to play an active role.

“There are many people on very limited income with past adverse financial issues that have caused them problems getting decent social housing in the city.

“With some encouragement from the council this criteria should be reviewed, and, where better to start than with potential occupiers of this type of development.”

Coun Graeme Miller, Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, said: “Coun Dixon’s comments were noted and heard at the recent meeting of the council.

“The council continues to work with developers and housing providers on new and updated housing for all.

“An amendment to Coun Dixon’s Notice of Motion was also voted on and agreed at the meeting.

“The new motion was: ‘This council believes that despite the shambolic record of the Conservative Government on housing, a vital contribution of the future prosperity of our city will be a forward thinking housing policy’.”