Following a damning report into public housing in the state, New South Wales is seeking greater use of ‘alternate building systems’ including prefabricated components and modular homes, and is asking for ideas from the construction industry about how these could help boost the state’s social housing stock.

In a statement, New South Wales Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce says alternative building systems have the potential to improve housing projects by using more efficient building methods.

He says the state’s Land and Housing Corporation is seeking proposals from the building industry to develop a pilot solution in a region.

“The NSW Government is looking to the building industry to achieve better outcomes with future housing projects and deliver better value for taxpayers,” Pearce says. “The aim is to look at all products, materials and new technologies available and examine what can be achieved working alongside the mainstream building industry.”

He cited the use of prefabricated building components or even complete modular buildings should that be appropriate as possible solutions to NSW’s housing issues.

The latest moves follow the release of a damning report into public housing by the state’s Auditor General which found that though the state had the most extensive housing portfolio in Australia, it still only met 44 per cent of social housing requirements as much of the existing stock was of the wrong size and in the wrong location.

According to that report, almost 30 per cent of all three or more bedroom homes have only one or two people living in them.

Pearce says alternative systems had been used successfully in other housing projects, including modular home projects by the state’s Aboriginal Housing Office using precast modular components. He says similar types of building have also been used in public housing programs in Victoria and Western Australia.

He says the government is seeking solutions which will be assessed for compliance with the Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and local planning requirements.

“We want submissions from those who can deliver innovative and efficient building techniques which contribute to the economy by creating jobs and opportunities,” Pearce says.