In the planning and preparation for the Ginninderry project we are mindful of the ever-growing challenge of housing affordability in the ACT.
Creating a variety of housing options, that meet all levels of the market, should be a priority for all new housing developments, and it’s a priority that we are focusing on in our first stage at Ginninderry.
Our approach is one that complements the ACT Government’s policy for housing affordability, particularly when it comes to exploring additional measures to help low and moderate income households to enter the housing market.
Firstly, we are offering a wide diversity of blocks types, sizes and prices – to meet the needs of most home seekers. We have been able to offer the land at very competitive prices, with blocks ranging from just $590 to $792 per square metre. The response has been overwhelming, and across all market sectors.
Secondly, our unique and innovative Flexi-living Series offers a suite of attractive, architect designed two and three bedroom compact homes on separate blocks, providing exciting alternatives to the more traditional response to affordable housing, which is typically met by one bedroom apartments. These homes, on their own separate blocks of land, are being offered as “turn-key” products (meaning that buyers only have to pay a 5% deposit and then nothing more until the home is ready to move in to). They will come fully landscaped, fenced and complete with the Ginninderry home energy package. As result, these homes are slightly above the ACT Affordable Housing Action Plan Thresholds but they provide an excellent and complete package with nothing more to spend, and like much of Ginninderry, are quite new and refreshing.
To first homes buyers, not having to pay progress payments is a major benefit, meaning they can continue to afford to rent while the home is being built. Further, and to ensure these homes get to those who most need them, we have introduced income eligibility, property ownership and minimum “live in” requirements.
Thirdly, housing affordability is about more than the initial cost of the home, so for those that are successful in purchasing a Flexi-living home (and indeed any home at Ginninderry) the financial benefits will continue past the initial lower price point. As each home sits on its own compact block of land, home owners will not have body corporate fees, and will enjoy reduced operating and maintenance costs (heating, cooling, rates, landscape maintenance and so on) when compared with traditional larger homes.
The Flexi-living series and the wide variety of block types available at Ginninderry offer a broadly- based affordability strategy, which is seen as a “pilot” project for Canberra.
We are delighted that already it’s an approach that has been well received by the community and to have almost 400 people register for the 17 Flexi-living options available in our first release shows that there is strong demand.
Our work in looking to help alleviate the housing affordability challenge will not end here, and we recognise there is a long way to go in this space.
In our second release next month, we will again offer a range of housing options and we look forward to continuing to listen to the community and what they want for their first or next home.