02/12/2015 - 05:12

Developers wanted to deliver 500 homes

02/12/2015 - 05:12


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Developers wanted to deliver 500 homes
Housing Minister Colin Holt at the National Housing Conference in October.

The state government is stepping up efforts to deliver affordable housing options near transport links by seeking to partner with developers on seven sites across the city worth about $20 million.

Housing Minister Colin Holt will launch the Connected Living initiative today, a program aimed at delivering up to 500 medium- to high-density dwellings across the sites.

Mr Holt said the initiative was part of the state government’s pledge to deliver 10,000 additional affordable homes in Perth by 2020, after it hit its previous goal of 20,000 by that year in August.

“We’ve had massive amounts of population growth in the last five to eight years, and that’s put a lot of pressure on services and a lot of pressure on housing affordability and availability,” Mr Holt told Business News.

“This is about how we can look at transport-oriented developments to utilise the high-priced infrastructure that we’ve put in as a state government.”

The plots of land are located along transport routes throughout Perth: from East Perth and Northbridge in the inner city; to Armadale, Gosnells and Midland in the eastern suburbs; Butler to the north; and Wellard to the south. 

Mr Holt said the plots were of varying sizes, the largest being 10,010 square metres in Butler, and the smallest being 1,338sqm in East Perth.

He said significant developer interest was expected for the sites, with the proponents to be encouraged to deliver innovative housing projects.

“We are going to industry and saying ‘we’ll bring some land into this equation, what can you do’?” Mr Holt said.

“What are the innovations you can bring in building solutions, building design or building materials to deliver affordable housing outcomes?”

Expressions of interest for the land are open until February next year, with contract negotiations expected in January 2017.

Developers will be given the opportunity to bid for single sites, or they could use the opportunity to create consortia and bid for all of the sites as one package, Mr Holt said.

“There is probably something in here for everybody,” he said.

“Some of the bigger developers in town may want to think about the bigger sites or a couple of sites, and the smaller to mid-sized developers may think about a site that really suits them and they can bid for that.”

If all goes well, first homes under the initiative would be delivered in early to mid-2018, Mr Holt said.

There has not yet been a target set for pricing of the dwellings, but Mr Holt said there would be a mix of social housing and affordable housing – or housing priced at 20 per cent below market rates – and houses priced at market-determined rates.

The initiative will become the largest partnership between the Housing Authority and the private sector to date.

Other successful projects done in partnership with private developers in recent years include the Adara apartments in Cockburn, which pioneered an innovative modular construction method that allowed the six-storey building to be assembled on site in 10 days, and the Abode and One on Aberdeen apartments in West Perth and Northbridge, respectively, both built in collaboration with Diploma Group.

“Nothing has been done on this scale before; it’s a great opportunity to test how we can creatively bring about new affordable housing options,” Mr Holt said.

“If these seven go well, why wouldn’t we be trying to deliver more using these processes?

“Perth as a city is going to modernise, we want to get people out of their cars and using public transport.”

“If we’re successful we should be trying to do more of it.”



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