Exploring modular housing to deliver more social homes sooner


A new cross government taskforce will meet for the first time today to provide expert industry advice to the NSW Government to explore the use of modular housing to deliver much needed social homes for people in NSW.

Modular housing has been successfully used in NSW, other states and around the world to provide quick and easy housing solutions.

Additionally, the cost of building modular housing is expected to decrease as we scale up and achieve efficiencies of scale in manufacturing.

The NSW Government is committed to looking at how we can use these innovative new ways to build more social housing and help strengthen the safety net for those experiencing housing insecurity.

At the recent state budget, an initial investment of $10 million was set aside at part of a $224 million Essential Housing Package to address the historic neglect of new social housing supply and trial innovative solutions to get people off the social housing waitlist.

That process begins today with the cross-industry taskforce of representatives from peak bodies including PreFab Aus, Shelter NSW, Community Housing Industry Association Local Government NSW, Property Council of Australia, Government Architects, Industry suppliers and union representatives. alongside people with lived experience of social housing.

The taskforce will among other things:

  • investigate innovative modern methods of construction (MMC), including modular housing
  • advise on the role MMC could play in delivering new housing sooner
  • examine the highest standard designs in line with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation’s (LAHC) best-practice guidelines
  • investigate a wide range of innovative, high-quality, high-durability and eco-friendly modern construction products.

Modular housing is especially suitable to regional areas as planning regulations are already in place and the offsite construction of modular housing can reduce costs and increase speed of construction.

The taskforce will also actively work with local councils to determine sites for the modular housing.

Exact locations are yet to be settled but there are several local councils who have expressed interest to be a part of this exciting project.

There is also the potential to use surplus public land identified as part of a statewide audit, identifying land that be rezoned for housing and associated uses.

The advisory task force will operate for up to 2 years and be managed by Homes NSW, and forms part of its ongoing work to deliver more homes and better homes for people in need.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said:

“Everyone deserves access to safe and secure shelter.

“The NSW Government is committed to exploring new ways we can better support people in some of the most vulnerable situations.

“With a growing population and an already extended waitlist for housing, we need to get moving.

“Whether its social or affordable housing, or creating more supply, we are working across the government to address the housing challenge we have in the state.”

NSW Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said:

“We need to deliver more and better homes for people in need that are fit for purpose, in line with current demand needs and in the right location.

“Addressing the state’s housing crisis is our top priority and we need to explore new ways to boost housing as quickly as possible and I’m confident that modular housing will be a vital tool to achieve this.

“This taskforce aims to foster innovation and partnerships across government, industry, and community housing providers (CHPs) to leverage expertise across the sector and explore new and MMC to deliver new homes.

“Collaboration across government and the MMC sector is crucial to further develop the housing sector, boost economic growth, and create more jobs in NSW.”

/Public Release. View in full here.