Friday, March 1, 2024

Housing taskforce to consider modular solution

A new cross government taskforce will meet for the first time today to provide industry advice to the NSW Government with a view to exploring the use of modular housing for much-needed social housing in NSW.

The NSW Government has pledged an initial $10 million 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.

“Everyone deserves access to safe and secure shelter,” said NSW Premier, Chris Minns.

“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.”

The Premier said modular housing was 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.

“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,” he said.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson (pictured) said the taskforce will also work with local councils to determine sites for the modular housing.

“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,” she said.

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

The Government says exact locations are yet to be settled but there are several local councils who have expressed interest to be a part of the project.

It says 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.

“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,” said Minister Jackson.

The advisory task force will operate for up to two years and be managed by Homes NSW.

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