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53 social homes to be delivered in six months

Indicative image of homes to be built under the Medium Density Housing program
Example of the new social homes to be delivered under the Medium Density Housing program

Construction will start in early 2021 on 53 modern social homes, to be completed in just six months, thanks to an innovative NSW Government pilot program using seven home builders and fast-tracked approvals.

The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) is finalising contracts with the seven successful home builders chosen to deliver 100 new social homes across metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW as part of the Medium Density Housing Program.

Construction on the first 53 homes on 25 sites in the first tranche will begin in January 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2021. A second batch of 47 homes on 17 sites will start construction in mid-2021 and is due to be completed in 2022.

LAHC’s Chief Executive, Mick Cassel said the pilot program would invest about $26 million to build the 100 new social homes and also create about 130 jobs.

Mr Cassel said the home builders will construct either attached dual occupancy homes (usually two dwellings) or manor homes (presenting as a large house with up to four units inside), using the NSW Government’s Low-Rise Housing Diversity Code.

“The Code has been subject to extensive consultation and supports well-designed and sustainable homes that respond appropriately to the character of the area, landscape setting and surrounding built form,” Mr Cassel said.

“Using the Code means we don’t need to seek site-specific development application approvals and therefore slash anywhere between two to six months from the job of delivering new housing.

“These homes look and appear just like other low-density homes that are found in local residential areas and will blend in seamlessly with surrounding local communities; including 55 per cent which will be located outside of metropolitan Sydney.”

Example of the homes to be built under the Medium Density Housing program

The seven successful builders – Beechwood Homes, Hudson Homes, Westbury Constructions, Mavid Construction, Mars Building, Metricon Homes and Simpson Building Group – demonstrated efficiency building high-quality dual occupancy and manor houses.

Housing Industry Association, Executive Director NSW, David Bare, said his organisation supports the pilot as it showcases the type and quality of low-rise, medium-density housing product that can be efficiently delivered by mainstream builders, using the Code.

“We need more housing in this sector and hope that this pilot will be the precursor to the delivery of many hundreds more of new social housing dwellings and jobs,” he said.

This initiative forms part of the NSW Government’s Future Directions for Social Housing; a plan to build more and better social housing that blends-in with local communities.