Social housing has seen many changes in the last century. Post-WWII Britain experienced a huge shortage of supply, resulting in a building boom of state-owned, affordable homes.
In the 80s, Margaret Thatcher took her opportunity to encourage private ownership of these properties, and brought in the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme; one could purchase the home they’d been renting for increasingly attractive prices depending on how long they had been a tenant. Houses that were not bought up by their residents were transferred over to not-for-profit housing associations, who took on the role maintaining the properties and developing more.
The introduction of modern social housing has brought with it a transition away from the idea of standardised council-owned estates; housing associations now compete to provide the best and most efficient designs in order to succeed at tender, bringing about different approaches, innovation, and a finely tuned appreciation for residents’ needs. Well-designed and well-engineered social housing is now indistinguishable from its private counterpart, and at the Rolton Group we work with nationally recognised associations and architects to ensure this is the case. In every contemporary housing development, builders have to allow a proportion of their plots for affordable housing, which is integrated seamlessly into its environment. The key is in creating cost-effective, efficient designs that fulfil the brief without over-engineering, a skill which comes with years of expertise. The houses are built to high specifications of energy efficiency, with ease of maintenance in mind.
We have an extensive portfolio of projects within the social housing sector, including the development at Riverside Heights in Norwich, the Wornington Green estate in Kensington, the Wolverton Park regeneration, and many more besides.