Public Housing Drive To Build Off-site

  • September 17th, 2019

The Victorian Government’s $209 million commitment to building an additional 1,000 public housing properties over three years is helping build capacity in offsite construction.

Project management firm Sensum is currently working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to deliver the 1000 home program, which is responsible for managing public housing in Victoria.

The objective of the program is to boost the state’s public housing, a form of long-term rental social housing available for people on low incomes, especially those who have recently experienced homelessness, family violence or have other special needs. The Department currently manages approximately 66,000 public housing units across Victoria.

To meet its requirements for the ongoing provision of public housing in Victoria the Department, with Sensum, has established a panel of offsite contractors to deliver modular homes. The housing types to be included in the range of modular homes are intended to increase and improve the affordable housing options available within Victoria. Modular homes will comprise two categories of dwellings; standalone houses and multi-level units, with home sizes ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Modular Homes may be delivered as a single standalone dwelling or in clusters of multiple dwellings in any area of Victoria, with the department delivering services through eight geographical regions comprising three Melbourne metropolitan regions, as well as five rural regions: Loddon Mallee Region; Grampians Region; Barwon – South Western Region; Hume Region and Gippsland Region.

The panel has recently been announced and comprises 13 manufacturers or consortiums, all based out of Victoria.

Sensum CEO Nick Strongman confirmed the company’s work to date with the Victorian Schools Building Authority (VSBA) had facilitated the housing program.

“The work that has been completed on the schools program has helped pave the way for the housing program. It has highlighted the efficiencies achieved through this delivery method and more importantly, it has changed the perception of modular and what can be achieved. Being able to walk stakeholders through the finished product has made it easier to convince them to utilise offsite construction.”

“The biggest driver for this program has been the ability to reduce the disruption to existing residents and the community. The sheer number of dwellings required and the reduced construction time has also been seen as a benefit to the Department.”

Strongman confirmed the program would entail a minimum of 1000 houses delivered over a three-year period, with the number is expected to rise over time.

“In addition to this program, we have been involved in the delivery of prefabricated disability housing and women’s refuge housing. Utilising offsite construction allows the Government to act quickly and address the immediate need. And significantly, all offsite projects build the pipeline required to recognise the real value in offsite construction.”

Words from Built Offsite magazine – Issue 17