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Taskforce begins work on modular solutions for social housing in NSW

Manufacturing News

A cross-government taskforce is holding its first meeting on Monday, tasked with providing “expert industry advice to the NSW Government to explore the use of modular housing” in delivering social homes.

According to a statement from the NSW Government, modular housing has seen success in Australia and overseas as a way to provide “quick and easy housing solutions”, and its costs are expected to decrease with economies of scale.

The taskforce includes representatives from peak bodies including PreFab Aus, Shelter NSW, Community Housing Industry Association Local Government NSW, and the Property Council of Australia.

Among other duties, the taskforce will examine:

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

Modular housing was described in the statement as especially suitable to regional areas, as planning regulations are already in place and offsite construction can reduce costs and delivery times.

The Queensland government said this month that 100 modular homes will be delivered by year’s end through its Modern Methods of Construction program.

Queensland housing minister Meaghan Scanlon said at the time that modular housing was “particularly beneficial for regional areas in Queensland” and “take a fraction of the time it would take to build a home from the ground up”.

“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,” said NSW housing minister Rose Jackson on Monday.

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

An initial investment of $10 million was set aside as part of the NSW budget in September, as part of the $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.”

Picture: modular home built by VOLO Modular at Yatala (credit VOLO)


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