Offsite construction specialist Rollalong is using its expertise to provide accommodation for homeless families near Wokingham, Berkshire.
The Dorset-based company is due to deliver 23 modular two-bedroom homes at Grovelands Park in Winnersh, replacing existing outdated temporary accommodation for homeless families.
The homes were manufactured in controlled factory conditions at Rollalong’s headquarters near Bournemouth. Phase one has now been transported to the site and work to complete the installation of all 23 homes is expected to be completed by August 2022.
The project will double the number of homes on the Wokingham Borough Council site, and they will be far more energy efficient than the old units.
The modular homes will allow more families to be accommodated safely and comfortably while they wait for somewhere permanent to live, and they have their own toilet and bathroom as well as an open-plan lounge, dining room and kitchen.
One will be specially adapted for households with people who have disabilities.
Laurie Garside, Projects Manager at Rollalong, said: “We are delighted to be working with Wokingham Borough Council’s housing team. The accommodation we have installed for the initial phase of the project is of a very high standard and will provide the local area with a much needed boost for temporary housing.”
Councillor John Kaiser, Executive Member for Finance and Housing at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Homelessness is a fast-growing issue across the country and, sadly, Wokingham borough is no different. We’ve seen an increase during the coronavirus pandemic and coupled with the rising cost of living, this trend is likely to continue.
“Improving and increasing the amount of temporary accommodation at Grovelands Park will ensure that we have a safe, suitable supply to meet future need while helping people to live in comfort and dignity at a distressing, uncertain and vulnerable period in their lives.
“The new homes will also reduce our reliance on bed and breakfasts, which are expensive, generally have shared facilities and are always outside of the borough, which can increase the sense of isolation for those facing homelessness.”
All councils are required to provide temporary emergency housing for homeless families with children or families and individuals who are vulnerable until they find a settled home.
At Grovelands Park the old prefabricated units had to be replaced as they were originally built as holiday homes and not intended for long-term occupation.
The new timber-clad homes have modern and reliable heating systems and are highly insulated which will prevent pipes from freezing in winter, reduce heating costs and limit their carbon footprint.
They also feature the latest fire safety and sustainability measures such as sprinkler systems, double glazing and solar panels, and they are fully furnished with internet access.
Some homes are also trialling the latest air source heat pump technologies, an environmentally friendly system that draws heat from outside into the home.