20 March 2024

Affordable rental project to be built on church land in Curtin

| Ian Bushnell
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drawing of proposed development

An illustration of the Curtin Build-To-Rent project massing looking from the street. Image: ACT Government.

Catholic Church land has been unlocked in Curtin for a multi-storey Build-To-Rent project that will deliver 54 apartments that will be let at below market rates.

Marymead CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn will partner with the ACT Government and the North Woden Parish to develop the site in Strangways Street. The project is backed by the government’s $60 million Affordable Housing Project Fund.

The 54 units, including one, two and three-bedroom apartments, will be pitched at essential workers, single parents and households earning less than $100,000 a year and experiencing distress in the rental market.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2025 and be completed by mid-to-late 2026, pending planning approvals.

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Marymead CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn CEO Anne Kirwan said the Affordable Housing Project Fund will provide a 15-year annual subsidy towards the project costs, which was essential to deliver a rental project at below market rates.

“We expect this building to provide affordable rentals for decades to come, supporting individuals and families on lower incomes to live, work and remain housed in the Woden area,” Ms Kirwan said.

Ms Kirwan said it had taken five years of negotiations with the government to change the Territory Plan to allow church land to be used to deliver community housing.

She said this pilot project could be the model for further affordable rental projects in other parishes across Canberra.

woman smiling

Marymead CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn CEO Anne Kirwan: more projects are on the way. Photo: Supplied.

Housing and Suburban Development Minister Yvette Berry said it was a unique project that she hoped would be replicated.

“We welcome and encourage other churches and organisations that have land who want to participate in programs like this,” she said.

Ms Berry said the ACT Government could not solve the housing crisis on its own, which was why it was drawing on the Federal Government Housing Future Fund to support community housing providers.

The Curtin development is one of six projects supported through the fund so far.

This includes the CHC Australia and Canberra Southern Cross Club 140-unit Build-to-Rent project in Phillip, which will include 70 affordable rental units.

The government has also contributed $4.5 million to the Ginninderry women’s housing initiative, a partnership between Housing Australia and CHC Australia to deliver the first women’s housing build-to-rent-to-buy pilot program.

The six projects are expected to deliver up to 280 new affordable rental properties in Canberra, contributing to a commitment to provide 600 additional affordable rentals by 2025-26.

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Community housing providers and landholders can submit proposals to access the Affordable Housing Project Fund through the government’s request for proposal process, which closes on 9 April 2024. More information is available on the Government’s Housing website.

Build to Rent, which is aimed at increasing the supply of rental properties available for long-term tenure, is an important part of the government’s ACT Housing Strategy to improve rental supply and affordability.

The government will announce further community housing partnerships for affordable Build-to-Rent projects soon.

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Knock the church down as well biggest rip-off ever invented by a big bloody money hungry devil from pit of hell.

Knock the church down as well bloody waste of time and biggest rip-off ever invented by a devil.

Alan Campbell2:21 pm 20 Mar 24

Good news. Not sure what the Uniting Church is doing with the ‘block’ in Curtin… its been undeveloped / un-utisled for like 60 years … surely it can be resumed?

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