Worthing Council has made the decision to provide low-cost modular housing units in the seaside town, and is looking to sign a deal with affordable developer BoKlok. This a pilot scheme which, if proven to be successful, could go on to deliver a further 500 homes in the area via a collaboration agreement between Worthing Council and BoKlok.

BoKlok, co-owned by IKEA and Skanska, provides sustainable, quality homes, at a low price. The residential project developer has over 20 years’ experience and have developed around 11,000 homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Worthing Council has approved plans for BoKlock to build 162 apartments on council land, with the first apartments being available for occupation from early 2021. Under the proposal, Worthing Council will license land to BoKlok and charge ground-rent.

Thirty percent of the homes are to be used as social housing and will be sold at cost price. The remaining seventy percent will be sold at a price designed to leave families with enough money to live on. BoKlok promises that a single parent would be able to afford to buy a two bedroom house on the sale prices they set. In order to prevent people using them as investment properties, only one home is available per buyer and time restrictions are placed on the period in which they can be sold by the original buyer.

BoKlok can achieve such low prices by prefabricating the homes off site. Homes are typically made from timber, which is a low-carbon material, and any offcuts are recycled. All homes will come with a built-in IKEA kitchen plus flooring and tiles (an added bonus; everyone loves IKEA, right?!).

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “I very much welcome this innovative proposal from a groundbreaking international firm which could bring real benefits to hundreds of local families.”

What does this mean for the UK housing market?

This project proves that modular housing is seen as a route to encourage residential house building and also provide the affordable housing that the UK housing market really needs. Modular housing offers a way to overcome skills shortages and rising material costs in the UK.