Canberrans are being asked to have their say on what range of housing options they would like to see developed in the ACT and how they would like to see that housing mix delivered.
ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman will visit the National Museum of Australia today to officially launch a new Housing Choices Discussion Paper for community consultation.
“We want to hear from Canberrans about what sort of housing they want and how greater housing options can be delivered,” Mr Mick Gentleman said.
“This consultation is designed to improve our understanding of how Canberrans want to see their city develop and what options the Government needs to consider when planning new suburbs and managing urban infill.”
Mr Gentleman said there has already been community feedback that people would like to see a greater range of housing options, including free-standing houses, apartments, townhouses or other housing types.
“By providing more housing types we can cater for a greater range of needs for the community, for example for an older person or couple in a large family home wishing to downsize to a smaller house, a young person looking for an affordable apartment, or a young couple looking to get started in the housing market by buying a townhouse,” Mr Gentleman said.
“We want to get residential planning and design right. Community engagement on the discussion paper is a valuable way for Canberrans to contribute their ideas on how to achieve better housing outcomes, and be a part of the planning process in our city,” he said.
“We have seen an increase in urban infill projects in recent years, which has allowed Canberrans the opportunity to access affordable housing closer to town centres.”
ACT Minister for Housing and Suburban Development Yvette Berry said the consultation would also be important in assisting the government’s development of a new ACT housing strategy.
“Making sure housing developments meet the needs of people is a vital thread to the government’s housing policy, alongside other affordability measures and housing services,” Ms Berry said.
According to Master Builders ACT, increasing housing diversity is one of the most effective ways to tackle worsening housing affordability in the ACT.
Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said that Canberra’s housing types are currently dominated by expensive single houses built on the urban fringe and small apartments built around group centres.
“However, Canberra’s households are becoming more diverse,” Mr Hopkins said.
“Single and couple households will soon become the dominant household type, overtaking the nuclear family type. At the same time, Canberra’s population is ageing.
“Based on feedback from our members, there is a strong and increasing demand from the community for more diverse housing types, including dual occupancies, townhouses, terrace housing, small homes, and apartments designed for families.”
Mr Hopkins encouraged the ACT Government to review the implementation of the Territory Plan amendment which allowed dual occupancies to be built on certain former Mr Fluffy blocks in the RZ1 zone.
“This rule has operated uncontroversially since its introduction two years ago, and is one example of how alternative housing can be provided for residents wanting to downsize without moving suburbs and away from family, friends, schools and support networks,” he said.
Consultation on the Housing Choices Discussion Paper released today will close on Friday 9 March 2018. For more information visit https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/housing-choices
Would you like to see a broader mix of housing being developed in Canberra? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.