Delivering on affordable housing and offering vulnerable people housing options has been a major theme for some time now. Well, things are clearly this urgency is only going to amplify over the coming months.

Although only a start, Glenigans reported a 14% increase in social housing developments last year. They cited that this was mainly due to the government lifting the 1% increase limit providers could add to rent in line with inflation, leading to their ability to fund further developments.

Rather starkly, however, is the fact that Shelter emphasised the need for three million new social homes to be delivered over the coming 20 years.

Even before the pandemic outbreak, Glenigans further forecasted the need for a 3% increase in health centre starts this year and 8% next year - to put this into context, last year these figures were -12% down. It has been widely reported that 40 hospitals will need to be built over the next decade.

Together with this, it has been estimated that children reaching school age will increase by 14% over the next five years! Like me, if you have recently considered your child’s school options, you will know how hard it can be to secure your first choice.

Behind all these figures there are some stark realities the construction industry needs to address:

- 40% of London's construction workforce are immigrants

- Two-thirds of the industry believes construction is behind other industries in terms of digitalisation and innovation. Although I have written about this in the past, interestingly, I was invited to attend a client’s SMT meeting yesterday as they want a pipelining exercise completing. They're a national contractor working within social housing. They believe attracting candidates from within the industry is futile as people are too far behind the benchmark in regards to digitalisation.

With all this said, I hear a lot of clients (both material manufacturers and service operators) working increasingly with BIM and there are clear signs of authorities / associations taking up offsite as a credible solutions - in fact, MMC now attributes to 7% of new builds, contributes over £1bn to the economy and continues to grow.