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Poll shows micro-homes as preferred solution for delivering more housing

Words: Laura Edgar
Micro-homes / Shutterstock_45472135

Research suggests that homeowners think building more co-living developments and micro-homes would help to solve the housing crisis – and building on green belt was the least popular solution.

The survey of 2,000 homeowners, by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), asked whether people thought there was a housing crisis in the UK and, if so, how to address that shortage.

Out of the 2,000 people polled, 66 per cent believe that there is a shortage of housing.

The most cited answers to solutions to the housing crisis were:

  • 33 per cent – build more co-living developments
  • 31 per cent – build more micro-homes in urban areas
  • 31 per cent – build more ‘granny flats’
  • 27 per cent – extend permitted development rights
  • 24 per cent – encourage more multigenerational living
  • 18 per cent – excavate or convert more basements under existing properties
  • 17 per cent – build on the green belt

Brian Berry, chief executive at the FMB, said co-living properties are becoming more popular in major cities across the world.

Both this and building more micro-homes “would increase density in urban areas where demand is particularly high”.

Increasing the number of ‘granny flats’ would see more elderly people moving out of their properties and living alongside children or grandchildren in self-contained home extensions, freeing up “much-needed family homes, which are being underused by older people living on their own,” he explained.

The results of the survey provide food for thought, Berry said, but to solve the housing crisis, the barriers for small local building firms need to be reduced. Berry pointed to recent research by the organisation, which states that the lack of small sites and difficulties hiring skilled tradespeople are “limiting the amount of homes these firms can build”.

“Reviving the fortunes of SME builders undoubtedly has a key role to play in delivering the government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year in England alone, and is key to solving the housing crisis once and for all.”

James Penfold, director of planning/zoning at The Collective, a co-living company, said the need for innovation in the approach to resolving the housing crisis is “clear”.

“The findings of the survey conducted by the Federation of Master Builders highlight and underline the fact that there is a significant and growing need for co-living accommodation in this country and that co-living should form part of a holistic approach to housing delivery.”

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