Social Housing is key to improving neighbourhoods across England
Housing is a hot topic in the UK. The necessity for affordable social housing means that Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) have a vital role to play in the housing market.
Due to the nature of this market, the sector has specific characteristics in terms of budget, quality and longevity. It takes particular insight and experience on a builder’s part, to work effectively in this area.
Experience that counts
At Anwyl, we are highly experienced in social housing construction and can offer a range of sector-specific services to RSLs across North Wales and the North West of England. Not only do we understand what social housing clients are looking for when it comes to build quality and the statutory requirements that must be met, but we do this while offering clients the very best service in terms of production, design and overall value for money.
At the heart of the service we offer – in social housing as in other sectors – is our commitment to building personal relationships with our clients, and also to establishing local supply chains wherever possible so that communities feel a real benefit from the work we do, quite apart from the benefits of the actual build itself.
A variety of approaches
While the quality of our service remains uniformly high across every social housing build, there are two main ways in which these projects come into fruition. The first is via the usual frameworks we have in place and involves an RSL or local authority appointing us as a contractor in order to build to their specification. The second approach involves us identifying suitable land – perhaps via other parts of our business such as Anwyl Land and introducing it to a client as a complete land and build package. We call these “turnkey developments”.
Social Housing Developments
Social housing clients regularly appoint us to deliver their projects, and we are always pleased to have the opportunity to build high-quality schemes that meet the needs of RSLs and occupants alike.
Projects can range in size from small schemes of just a few properties to larger schemes that may also include a commercial element and retail outlets.
For instance, at the Afallon development in Rhyl, we built a number of three-bedroom family homes and refurbished a commercial premises which now houses a community shop and bakery along with apartments above. This project has played a big part in the regeneration of Rhyl’s town centre, helping to provide accommodation and a community focus to help foster a sense of vibrancy and cohesion.
Social housing projects often have very specific requirements. We are able and experienced in accommodating occupants with a variety of needs. At Henllan in Denbighshire, we built a number of houses and bungalows for adults with learning and physical disabilities. While at Mancot Road in Mancot, the scheme required us to make provision for a live-in carer at one of the properties.
Because of our years in the social housing sector, we are often able to identify and purchase suitable land and can then introduce this land to clients as part of what we call a turnkey development.
This option adds a great deal of value for clients, as we work on the project’s feasibility before they see it. We can then present a range of development options together with possible budgets. Clients can then buy the land and enter a building contract with ourselves as a single package.
Projects like this may range from a small number of social housing properties up to around 100 units. This will depend on the size and nature of the land.
For example, the Parc Brickfields development in Rhyl was a large social housing project of 16 houses and eight apartments. As an area in need of regeneration, the development was well received by the community.
Centenary Square in Flint was also a large project, involving the demolition of a former local authority office and the construction of 33 apartments offering domestic accommodation for the over-55s. This project was named Best Social/Affordable Housing Scheme by LABC.