Getting more affordable housing

johnboy 12 April 2007 20

Yesterday the ABC reported that a 550 home new site had been sold off to the highest bidder (on a lowish bid by all accounts) with a condition that 15% of the homes be “affordable housing” (that’s “slums” in English).

So where was this new development? Upper Red Hill? Ainslie East? Aranda Heights?

Don’t be silly, it was Macgregor West.

The really great news is that Bob Winnell reckons he can bump the slum content up to 30% if the Goverment will relax its planning constraints even further and let him build it with culdersacks more culsdesac [Thanks to Toriness for the spelling lesson, who’d have thought we had such diligent Gilmore Girls aficionados?].

Don’t get me wrong, we need slums more than we need McMansions, and it’s worth remembering that Ainslie was the “affordable housing” of it’s day and you can’t swing a cat there without hitting a yuppie with boho aspirations.

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20 Responses to Getting more affordable housing
emd emd 10:30 pm 13 Apr 07

If people are willing to trade off land size for living in a new house, that’s fine and dandy.

I wonder if this will have an effect on slowing down housing price rises in more established suburbs? Or if there needs to be much more property on the market to have such an effect?

Danman Danman 3:26 pm 12 Apr 07

I did not get my own room until I moved out at the age of 19 – Kids these days get the equivalent of my old govvy childhood house just for a bedroom.

Perish the though that we had a 2nd bathroom for us kids.

la mente torbida la mente torbida 3:19 pm 12 Apr 07

Listening to 666 yesterday afternoon, the developer was talking 30% ‘affordable housing’ (if the gov’t relaxed the planning laws) as:
a) 15% 3 br & garage on ‘villa’ block @ $280K
b) 15% 3 br & garage on ‘courtyard’ block @ $299K

Villa blocks were described as approx 300-400 m2 and courtyard blocks as 400-500 m2.

Ralph Ralph 2:59 pm 12 Apr 07

Indeed. Kids shared bedrooms, these days they must have their own rooms and ensuite.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 2:57 pm 12 Apr 07

People need to learn to buy and live in what they can afford. A generation ago families grew up in 2 or 3 bedroom houses with one bathroom, or even an outhouse.

Maelinar Maelinar 2:52 pm 12 Apr 07

seepi, your retirement suburb idea is already in the permission stages, close to the West Macgregor site.

You know where all those grapevines are at the end of Drake Brockman Drive ? – IVO there.

Al Al 2:50 pm 12 Apr 07

“Because the land is worth 3 times the bricks and mortar as it is.”

Geez JB where are you looking? Braddon? Harrison $160-200K for land, $300-400K for house to put on it.

Ralph Ralph 2:24 pm 12 Apr 07

Now for Ralph’s plan:

Less Soviet-inspired planning like that being touted here, release land, get rid of red tape, and let the market sort out the affordable housing non-issue.

seepi seepi 2:19 pm 12 Apr 07

Ok – here’s my second plan.

Medium sized blocks with small houses on them, with some backyard for kids to play in.

The houses will be built with no steps, and once the families expand enough to move out, the houses can be extended into the backyards, to provide downsizing opportunities for older couples who want biggish places with no yard and no steps.

The downsizing opportunity (eg quite nice largish unit with small courtyard and no steps, and newish needing no maintenance) is a huuuuuge market in Canberra at the moment, and places like that cost a mint and go like hotcakes. And the scarcity of them means that older couples are clogging up 4 bedroom houses in the inner north, cos they have nowhere to downsize to.

In fact scrap my previous idea – the govt should build a retirement suburb, it would probably free up heaps of older houses all over Canberra.

Al Al 2:17 pm 12 Apr 07

Seepi, that is one of the smartest things I’ve heard in the whole ‘affordable housing’ debate!
I’ll see where I can take that thought with some people…
Expanding on your idea, as they get more equity built up, they have room to expand the house. And the extra space would mean in the first instance they can make sure the house has good solar orientation, making it cheaper to heat, and a smart builder could do it all with modularised plans, so future extensions can be selected ‘off the shelf’ as it were.
“I’m excited…”

biogaz78 biogaz78 2:11 pm 12 Apr 07

Does anyone know what the govt really means when it refers to “affordable” housing?

What conditions must be met for land and/or houses to be considered “affordable”? Given recent land sales in Forde etc. the govt seems to think that land which costs >$160k is affordable.

Surely if the govt are going to claim X% of properties in a new development will be “affordable”, they should then clarify what they consider to be an affordable price. $200k? $300k? $500k?

johnboy johnboy 2:04 pm 12 Apr 07

Because the land is worth 3 times the bricks and mortar as it is.

seepi seepi 1:50 pm 12 Apr 07

Here’s a plan – why not offer decent sized blocks, with tiny little ‘affordable’ houses on them.

They won’t be slums at first, cos only young working couples will be able to affords them now. And they wont’ become slums later, as the mini houses will get knocked over or extended in decades to come.

The part of Charnwood with larger blocks is all being done up now. Whereas the legoland part is still not that attractive to yuppies.

Al Al 1:00 pm 12 Apr 07

Just had quiche for lunch too – pfftt!
P.S. [pedant switch on] culs de sac JB – 3 words. [pedant switch off]
And Toriness, as with West Wing, GG is much better watched with captions turned on, so you have some idea of what the hell they are saying so fast. Funny to see the variations between the captions and the spoken words too, owing to it being too fast even for captions…
(Oh cr*p – just been outed as a GG watcher…)

Maelinar Maelinar 12:38 pm 12 Apr 07

Real men don’t eat tofu: the book that needs to be written…

Al Al 12:34 pm 12 Apr 07

This yuppie never burns his tofu.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 10:54 am 12 Apr 07

Some family of mine bought a block of land in the new area next to the Cotter Road yesterday. A steal at $415k…

Indi Indi 10:25 am 12 Apr 07

i’d say Ainslie has the ‘boho with yuppie aspirations’ feel about it – that horrid waft of burning tofu!

toriness toriness 10:12 am 12 Apr 07

i would not ordinarily be so anal johnboy but i have to correct your spelling of culdesac.

and at the same time (and to provide some context for being pedantic) can i express my amazement as did lorelai gilmore (yes, on ‘gilmore girls’ – i am currently tragically addicted to it and up to the end of season 4, having watched them on dvd over the past few weeks from the beginning) that the plural of culdesac is NOT culdesacs BUT culSdesac!

Maelinar Maelinar 10:03 am 12 Apr 07


Hate to point demographically, but Holt and Macgregor aren’t famous for its mcmansions already, the further development is going to create a bubble of boganism.

Really, I just can’t wait.

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