Tiny homes the key to big housing affordability challenge

  • Affordable housing

Can tiny homes solve the housing affordability crisis? This form of modular housing is helping community housing provider and NAB customer Junction get homes on the ground.

  • 21.03.2024
  • Time to read 1 min read


For many Australians The Great Australian dream of home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach.

Data released by Housing Australia last year revealed more than 377,600 households are in need of housing, including 331,000 in rental stress and 46,500 experiencing homelessness.

Community housing providers like not-for-profit organisation Junction are finding innovative solutions to get homes on the ground.

Calls for a collective effort

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said Australia’s housing crisis has seen the people seeking support from the organisation increase.

“Housing supply is something that’s being felt across the whole country and everybody’s really aware of it now. And that’s and that’s a really good thing…There is not one provider or not one area of the business community or the community itself that can fix this. The situation on housing needs a collective effort,” Ms Palumbo said.




On a recent visit to Junction in South Australia NAB CEO Ross McEwan and Andrew Irvine, Group Executive Business & Private Bank endorsed Junction’s innovative approach to new housing solutions, including a Tiny Homes campus housing project.

“Housing is the biggest issue facing the country,” Mr McEwan said. “Providing safe and liveable homes for a nation needs banks, government and non-profits working well together, so we’re actively contributing to partnerships that help get us there.”


NAB CEO Ross McEwan and Andrew Irvine visit a Junction housing project in South Australia.

Breaking cycles of disadvantage

Junction aims to create long-term positive change for the communities they work in, including vulnerable children or young people who go through the justice care system .

“What we’ve found is that that the support for young people who are still healing from trauma, who are still experiencing severe mental health issues from their trauma, who don’t have strong family networks are falling back into the system really quickly,” Ms Palumbo said.

“We want to create diversity of housing for these young people so we can continue to support them once they leave these systems, so they can move into independence and be successful – creating a form of housing that enables choice.”

"The dream is that people's lives change in permanent ways, that there's generational cycles of change because of the work we're doing now."

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo


A tiny but mighty solution – what is modular housing?

An artist’s impression of Junction’s Tiny Homes campus.

One way Junction is going to achieve their ambitions is through modular housing, including tiny homes.

Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said modular housing is a form of innovation that is a “game changer.”

“It’s a really important product form for housing and I believe we’re going to use it more and more, particularly for programs like this that break cycles for young people who experience extreme disadvantage.”


NAB’s support

NAB is making progress on its goal to help Australians into low-cost, safe and suitable homes by 2029, and have made $6 billion in finance available to get there.

CEO Ross McEwan said innovative construction methods such as modular housing is one important part of the answer to the housing problem in Australia.

“Modular homes can put a roof over someone’s head quickly and be built in areas where traditional construction is challenging,” Mr McEwan said.


"NAB is backing large projects that use modular housing to support social and community need, and workforce demand."

NAB CEO Ross McEwan


Junction CEO Maria Palumbo, NAB CEO Ross McEwan and Junction Board Chair Rob DiMonte.

Mr McEwan has also advocated for planning reform to get more housing in the right areas with shorter approvals processes across state and territories, and phasing in inclusionary zoning to include affordable housing in new developments.

“Housing is Australia’s biggest issue – it will continue to have a disproportionate impact on young and vulnerable Australians if we don’t get the settings right now,” Mr McEwan said.

“I worry that the great Australian dream of owning your own home is at risk. Affordability is at a 30-year low, and rental prices are rapidly increasing. That’s because we simply don’t have enough houses for our growing population, let alone enough affordable and social housing for people who need support.”

Junction said NAB’s support is critical to creating new housing in different ways.

“The relationship with NAB is crucial to us. There is just no way we’re able to do anything without that support.

Watch the full video about community housing provider Junction below. 


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