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Ikea is bringing affordable prefab housing to the UK

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To address the 30 million units the country needs to meet demand

In the U.S., nearly two-thirds of renters say they can’t afford to purchase a home. The numbers are just as bleak in the UK, where an affordable housing crisis has left many people worried about housing stability in the future.

One recent report says the country needs to build 30 million new affordable units by 2040 if the housing stock is to keep up with the demand. And Ikea, ever the problem-solving design behemoth, is here to help.

According to The Guardian, BoKlok, an affordable housing company co-owned by Ikea and construction firm Skanska, have been given the go-ahead to develop 162 apartments in Worthing, West Sussex, in the UK. Thirty percent of the properties will go towards affordable housing, while the remainder will be priced according to BoKlok’s “left to live,” model, which means the company will set housing prices at a rate that leaves owners with enough money left to live on after housing costs.

The cost of these “market rate” apartments takes into account the amount of an “average” income (the exact number is unclear) and calculates how much a person could put towards a 25-year mortgage after taxes. Monthly payments are also considered. According to the company, “a single parent can afford to buy and live in a newly built two-bedroom BoKlok apartment.”

BoKlok says it’s possible thanks to an efficient building system in which the modular homes are prefabricated in a factory, shipped to the building location, and constructed quickly. The timber homes look like they’re straight out of Scandinavia with an Ikea-built kitchen and floors, and simple white and wood finishings.