Building houses in factories for the Commonwealth Games was meant to help the housing crisis. What now?

Thu, 24 Aug 2023 11:51:01 +1000

Andrew Pam <xanni [at]>

Andrew Pam

"Huge sporting events come with substantial public investment in housing. After
Melbourne hosted the 1956 Olympics, about 600 houses in the athlete village
became public housing in West Heidelberg. After Melbourne hosted the 2006
Commonwealth Games, the athlete village in Parkville was largely sold off, with
320 houses going to social housing.

Victoria’s now cancelled 2026 Commonwealth Games were meant to have the same
effect in the state’s smaller cities. New dwellings were intended to help boost
social and private housing supply amid the ongoing housing crisis. Ironically,
the broader housing crisis may have contributed to the cancellation, as worker
shortages and building material price spikes took their toll.

Importantly, half of these were to be prefabricated and modular buildings. This
would speed up construction and demonstrate what’s now possible. While regions
like Scotland now do almost all of their construction in factories, Australia
is only just beginning.

So is cancellation of the games a blow for prefab construction in Australia?
It’s a PR setback, given the attention it would have received. The state
government has committed to building 1,300 new homes in the regions, the same
number intended for the games. As yet, we don’t know if these will be prefab."

       *** Xanni ***
--               Andrew Pam                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu            Partner, Glass Wings               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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