The Householder’s Perception of Speculative Housing

Today I took part in an event to select the lucky families who will spend a year living in the Velux CarbonLight homes in Rothwell, Northamptonshire. The families were selected from a long list of those who expressed interest. We spent a morning showing them the homes and discussing the aims of the project with them.
What was particularly interesting was their perception of speculative housing in the UK, none of them had anything favourable to say about housing built in the last decade, despite the rising standards that they are being built to. All of them had recent experience of new housing that was too small, too dark, too cold, with little or no amenity space and cramped gardens in family homes.
It speaks volumes about the state of the UK housing industry when despite years of regulation the industry is still failing to fulfil the most basic of market requirements, satisfied customers. It also demonstrates the value of experiments like the ModelHome 2020 project, because without projects like this , and programmes like Grand Designs, customers have little or no idea what it’s possible to achieve.
All the interested families were very impressed by the project and particularly admired the brightness of the homes on a dull Autumn day. They were all interested in sustainable living, which is why they had been selected in the first instance. The left the house to await the news whether they had been selected or not. More on that later.

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