Innovation in construction may hold the key to addressing New South Wales’ escalating housing crisis. According to The Hon. Paul Scully, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, modular construction is poised to play a pivotal role in the state’s strategy to build 377,000 new homes. This announcement comes amidst a significant shortage, with over 50,000 individuals in New South Wales awaiting access to social housing.
Minister Scully expressed his views during an interview with Channel 7, emphasizing the Government’s goal and expressing support for more efficient construction methods. The state is currently exploring modular building as a solution to rapidly increase housing supply in a considerably faster timeframe compared to traditional construction.
Australia’s major player in modular construction, Fleetwood Australia, has backed the Minister’s statements. Recognized as the nation’s largest in this arena, Fleetwood Australia boasts that modular construction can slash the time taken to build new homes by at least 50%. The ASX-listed company’s CEO, Bruce Nicholson, highlighted Fleetwood’s commitment and capability to be part of the solution to the housing shortage, saying, “Housing shortages in New South Wales are at crisis level and Fleetwood Australia is committed to working with Governments, housing providers and community developers to tackle the issue.”
Nicholson further detailed the benefits of modular construction, which includes a more predictable build schedule free from the usual site and environmental delays. “Our build times are measured in weeks and months rather than years, which is of vital importance for people who are doing it tough,” said Nicholson.
Fleetwood’s proficiency in creating diverse housing designs aligns with the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines and the National Construction Code, ensuring high-quality homes that complement the aesthetics of traditional construction. “Anyone who still equates modular construction with tin sheds, really needs to come down and have a look at our display homes in Smithfield,” Nicholson emphasized.
With a manufacturing capacity to deliver up to 1,500 new homes annually from its seven factories, Fleetwood’s factory-based construction also promises greater quality control and minimized community disruption. It also brings the advantage of creating reusable and repurposable buildings as community needs evolve.
Nicholson confidently stated, “There is no faster way than modular building to swiftly deliver the volume of housing needed in New South Wales,” asserting Fleetwood Australia’s determination to increase the stock of community and social housing.
While modular homes are not the panacea to the entire housing crisis, Fleetwood Australia’s long history in modular housing, previously focusing on lifestyle housing, now strategically pivots to address a communal need. This change of focus underscores the synergy between their expertise and community need, as they have done with social housing for the Department of Communities in Western Australia and QBuild in Queensland.
With the housing crisis at a critical juncture, modular construction emerges as a frontrunner, offering swift, resource-efficient, and quality solutions to curb the growing issue. The future for those awaiting homes in New South Wales could be arriving sooner rather than later, one module at a time.