Tackling the housing crisis: Construction’s role in new housing development

tackling the housing crisis construction's role in new housing development

Australia’s housing crisis, a ticking time bomb particularly acute in Melbourne and Sydney, is a pressing issue that demands urgent and innovative solutions. As the population swells and urban areas sprawl, the chasm between housing demand and supply widens, creating a situation that requires immediate attention.

In this challenging landscape, the construction industry doesn’t just hold the key to unlocking affordable, efficient housing solutions, it’s the beacon of hope. This blog explores the critical role of construction in addressing the housing crisis, showcasing innovations, challenges, and the vital contributions of companies like Kelm Hire.

Understanding the housing crisis: Causes and impacts

The current housing crisis faced by millions of Australians comes as part of a perfect storm of high prices, stagnant or low supply and high demand. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2019-20, over 10% of households spent more than 30% of their gross income on housing costs, with some spending over half (ABS, 2020). This financial strain limits disposable income for other necessities. The demand for housing is simply outpacing the rate of new construction. While the ABS data on building activity shows increased building approvals in some areas (ABS, 2022), it may not be keeping pace with population growth, particularly in major cities. This imbalance between supply and demand is a significant contributor to rising prices.


Australia’s housing crisis isn’t simply a matter of rising prices and limited supply. While those factors are undeniably present, particularly in major cities like Melbourne, the issue has deeper roots. Going beyond the headlines we see in the news, some of the causes of the housing crisis may include:

  • Immigration Patterns: While immigration is a source of economic growth, a surge in population concentrated in major cities can strain housing infrastructure and drive up demand.
  • Urban Sprawl: Development focused on single-family homes on the outskirts of cities can lead to inefficient land use, increasing commute times and straining infrastructure.
  • Limited Investment in Social Housing: A decline in government-funded affordable housing options has reduced the choices for low- and middle-income earners.
  • Community Displacement: Rising housing costs can force lower-income residents out of their neighbourhoods, disrupting social networks and community cohesion.
  • Strained Social Services: Increased demand for affordable housing can burden social services that support vulnerable populations.
  • Economic Challenges: Due to high housing costs, businesses may need help attracting and retaining talent, which can hinder economic growth.


By understanding these underlying causes and multifaceted impacts, we can appreciate the construction industry’s crucial role in addressing the housing crisis.

The critical role of construction in addressing housing shortages

The construction industry is not just a part of the solution. It is the solution to the housing crisis. Construction companies play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between demand and supply by accelerating the development of new homes. Their efficient project execution and timely delivery of housing projects, particularly those utilising innovative and affordable construction techniques, are crucial in this effort, inspiring hope for a better future.

Innovations in construction techniques for faster and more affordable housing

The fight for affordable housing demands innovative solutions, and the construction industry is stepping up to the challenge. A range of groundbreaking, innovative construction techniques are not just revolutionising how we build. They’re paving the way for a brighter future with faster construction times and more accessible housing options:

  • Prefabrication and Modular Construction: Imagine building components being manufactured off-site in a controlled environment, minimising weather delays and maximising efficiency. This is the power of prefabrication. Modular construction takes it further, utilising prefabricated modules that can be quickly assembled on-site, like giant Lego blocks. Both techniques significantly reduce construction time and overall project costs, paving the way for faster delivery of affordable housing units.
  • 3D-Printed Housing (Emerging Potential): While still under development in Australia, 3D-printed housing holds immense promise. This technology uses giant 3D printers to create entire houses layer by layer, potentially reducing construction time and waste significantly.
  • Sustainable Materials: Building green isn’t just good for the environment; it can also benefit affordability. Utilising prefabricated, sustainable building materials like bamboo or recycled materials offers a cost-effective and eco-friendly approach to construction.


Beyond the Techniques: Efficient Land Use

Innovation isn’t limited to building materials and methods. Concepts like co-living spaces in specific buildings and mixed-use developments integrating residential units with commercial spaces can maximise land use efficiency. This allows for more housing options on a smaller footprint, potentially leading to more affordable housing solutions.

By embracing these innovative construction techniques and land-use strategies, the construction industry is paving the way for a future with more accessible and sustainable housing options.

Challenges and opportunities in new housing development

The construction sector faces several housing shortage challenges, including regulatory hurdles, labour shortages, and environmental concerns. However, these challenges also present opportunities for growth and improvement. Embracing new technologies like 3D-printed housing (though still under development in Australia) and sustainable construction practices like using prefabricated building materials such as bamboo or recycled materials can lead to more resilient, efficient, and environmentally friendly housing solutions. Streamlining approval processes or government initiatives encouraging innovative construction methods can address regulatory hurdles. The industry can tackle labour shortages through increased focus on vocational training or attracting skilled migrants.

How construction companies like Kelm Hire are using collaborative solutions to make a difference

Kelm Hire plays a significant role in supporting housing development through reliable construction equipment rental services. Providing high-quality, well-maintained equipment enables construction companies to work more efficiently and cost-effectively, particularly when implementing innovative construction techniques.


Our diverse equipment range is specifically chosen to support these techniques. For instance, we offer equipment suited explicitly for prefabricated construction or modular assembly. This flexibility allows construction companies to adapt to different projects without the high upfront cost of purchasing specialised equipment. Kelm Hire’s unwavering support ensures that projects stay on track and within budget. Discover why Kelm Hire is preferred by many in the industry.

Check out the products available to hire through Kelm Hire and explore our branch locations to see how we can help you with your next construction project.


Frequently Asked Questions

The primary contributors are population growth, limited land availability, and rising construction costs.

Construction accelerates the development of new homes, bridging the gap between housing demand and supply.

Prefabrication, modular construction, and advanced building materials improve efficiency and affordability.

Regulatory hurdles, labour shortages, and environmental concerns are significant challenges construction companies face when looking at new housing developments.

Kelm Hire provides reliable construction equipment rental services, enabling efficient and cost-effective construction.

By leveraging our extensive range of construction equipment for hire and unwavering support, Kelm Hire is not just a service provider but a partner in overcoming Australia’s housing challenges. We’re dedicated to helping build a better future together, and we invite you to join us in this mission.

For more information about our services and how we can support your construction projects, visit our website and learn about us.