Senator looking at flat-pack homes to ease housing issue

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Following the recent public outcry over housing affordability in Jersey, Senator Kristina Moore has approached policy officers with a view to developing and finding sites for flat-pack-style homes, which could be put up in weeks.

The Senator has been in discussion with ZED Affordable Eco Homes, a company which produces temporary environmentally friendly houses.

‘I have been talking to an officer about what kind of proposition we could lodge regarding this,’ said Senator Moore. ‘We need to figure out a way of addressing the housing affordability issue now because there’s clearly a crisis at the moment. It requires immediate action.

‘I have been trying to reach out to people who might be able to provide sites for these homes. They could go over existing parking spaces or redundant glasshouse sites.’

She added: ‘The number of people who have come forward and shared their stories on the issues they face with housing shows that this is an emergency. The people need immediate action and we, as States Members, need to figure out what to do.

‘We want to bring something to the States before the Bridging Island Plan is debated next March. This would help create some movement in the housing market, which is what people need.

‘I really hope that something will come through and people will come forward with land that they can make available.’

The Senator said she imagined the introduction of 200 to 300 units would be enough to make a difference.

ZED’s affordable units are built with Forestry Stewardship Council-approved sustainable plywood, which means for every tree chopped down to make it several more need to be planted.

They are made from preassembled parts which could be delivered to the Island in a flat-pack style.

Martin Osment, the local representative of the company, said that they use roof solar panels to generate power and are well insulated to reduce energy requirements, while water would be supplied through a blue-water pipe connection. He added if a sewage connection was not possible a composter toilet or ‘as a last resort’ chemical toilet could be installed.

He said: ‘You can make savings of about 40% on building costs but the overall cost would depend on the land cost. Hopefully, landowners would be community minded enough not to charge too much.

‘What we need is just at least one piece of land where we could have a show home, then people would be able to see how good these are. They would be ideal for workers in agriculture, hospitality or construction and any short-stay workers. Also for people who have just graduated and don’t have much stuff yet.

‘There are people for whom Jersey should be a lifelong home and they are now leaving the Island, which is a terrible situation.’

He added that the homes, which can be self-built, take 13 weeks to be delivered and six weeks to construct.

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