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Are Modular homes the answer to Tasmania's housing crisis?

The Advocate Newspaper - article written by Sean Ford on modular housing in Tasmania, featuring Stacey Sheehan.

Cheaper and faster modular housing should be tried in the North-West to help tackle the housing crisis, real estate executive Stacey Sheehan says.

"Moduclar housing is a growing trend on the mainland that I would really like to see tested on the North-West Coast." Devonporrt based Ms Sheehan sad.

"It may not suit everyone, but its faster and cheaper than a traditional build as the house arrives in a fat pack with frames, trusses, roof, downpipes, even the kitchen sink."

She said there would be no planning constraints on modular housing in Tasmania that would not apply t traditional builds.

"... given that this is a housing crsis, we need to consider new ways of dealing with the backlog." she said.

Ms Sheehan, who is also Devonport's Deputy Mayor and ran for the Liberals in the last state election, said vacancy rates in the city had increased slightly, but there was not much movement in rents, which were remaining high.

"My team has always had a good mix of tenants, including older age tenants or pensioners." Ms Sheehan said. 

"They are always so lovely to the staff and are great at looking after properties well, but, without rental assistance, many homes are now beyond their reach even with the icrease to the Commonwealth Rent Assistance package announced in (the) budget."

Ms Sheehan said the housing shortage was caused by a surge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said that put stress on all parts of the supply chain, including building products , skills training and the labour market.

"Land release has always been an issue." she said.

"To further exacerbate housing supply, developers will often struggle getting timely statutory approvals for new subdivisions beacuse they deal with a number of service authorities, none of which are accountable for the cost or time it takes to provide infrastructure.

"Given that we have a housing crisis, I do wonder if a coordinating body within government could be tasked with sorting out approval delays for large to medium-scale projects."