Minister for Housing Visits East Ayrshire for Handover of First of Over 100 Innovative Modular Homes in Kilmarnock3 August 2023
Earlier this week, Connect Modular and Cunninghame Housing Association (CHA) were delighted to host Scottish Government Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan MSP along with Provost Jim Todd to welcome CHA’s first residents to their first volumetric-modular, affordable housing development at Shortlees, Kilmarnock.
The properties are manufactured off site by Connect Modular and the Minister began his day with a tour of their manufacturing facility in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, where he met some of the team responsible for designing and manufacturing the housing modules and to see firsthand the benefits that volumetric-modular construction provides. The tour provided insight into the efficient manufacturing process and rigorous inspection routines delivered by Connect Modular in the production of these new homes to exceptional quality for Cunninghame Housing Association. This process delivers particularly significant improvements in waste reduction, environmental outcomes, and programme certainty. Connect Modular has returned employment to the former carpet factory, creating and sustaining jobs within the local, East Ayrshire economy.
Following the tour of the manufacturing facility, the Minister travelled the short distance to the Shortlees site where he was joined by Provost, Jim Todd, and the first new residents for the official handover of homes from Connect Modular to Cunninghame Housing Association. The momentous occasion marked a significant milestone for all who have been instrumental in the project. The pupils of Shortlees Primary School have also designed new home cards to welcome residents to the new development.
The use of MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) at Shortlees is reflective of the Scottish Government’s commitment to increased use of offsite construction in their Affordable Housing Supply Programme and exemplifies the substantial benefits of the model in efficiency delivering high quality and sustainable new homes. Connect Modular has a strong pipeline of affordable housing projects, including a second phase of homes with Cunninghame Housing Association and is delighted to bring innovation to support the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 110,000 new homes by 2032.
Richard Reid, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Connect Modular, said “We are absolutely thrilled to see the completion and handover of the first homes in this 101 modular housing development. This project demonstrates our dedication to delivering innovative, sustainable, and affordable housing solutions for our local communities. It’s been fantastic having the support and endorsement of the Housing Minister and Provost who share our vision of cultivating sustainable communities and improving lives through the provision of modular housing. We’re delighted to be working with Cunninghame Housing Association on this development and look forward to the continuous handovers of our homes over the next year”.
Linda Anderson, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Cunninghame Housing Association, said “The Association is committed to delivering high quality homes for rent and it’s been exciting to see this fantastic modular housing development take shape. The handover of these first completed houses to the new tenants is an important milestone in the delivery of 101 new homes in an area where demand for housing is much needed. We’re excited to continue our successful partnership with Connect Modular through to Summer 2024 when the site will be fully complete. The project has benefitted from significant investment from the Scottish Government and this invaluable ongoing support allows us to carry on providing quality new homes as we continually strive to make our communities better places.
Miss Brennan was one of the first residents to receive keys to her new home and commented “Getting the bungalow has given me a new lease of life and given me my independence back; in my old property I was unable to get upstairs for the last 20 months. I’m delighted with the offer and the house is beautiful.”
Miss Brennan was previously living in a private let with her son Gary (26); this was a three bed, semi-detached home and the stairs in the property were causing her great difficulty due to a medical condition, to the point she could not use the upper level of the house. She was put forward for a ground floor property by her Occupational Therpaist.
Miss Brennan had been on the housing waiting list for approximately 18 months before receiving this offer of a new, accessible home.
The collaboration between Connect Modular and Cunninghame Housing Association represents a shared commitment to addressing the pressing need to quickly and efficiently deliver affordable housing. The completion of the first houses is just the beginning of a wider initiative that will ultimately deliver 101 purpose-built modular homes, positively impacting the lives of many individuals and families.
Housing Minister Paul McLennan said “Everyone deserves to live in a warm, safe and affordable home and Connect Modular’s innovative approach will help us to achieve this.
“The partnership between Connect Modular and Cunninghame Housing Association, supported by £10.5 million of Scottish Government funding, will deliver 101 affordable new homes at Shortlees. This means that more households will live in a home that meets their needs.
“Partnerships like this will help us to deliver at least 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032. At least 70% of these will be for social rent and 10% will be in remote, rural and island communities.”