20 January 2020

Government seeks market interest in Common Ground Dickson

| Ian Bushnell
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Common Ground Dickson

An artist’s impression of the proposal for Common Ground at Dickson. Images: Collins Pennington Architects.

The ACT Government is moving ahead with the proposed Common Ground housing project in Dickson, releasing a Market Sounding Paper, seeking interest from builders and to explore early philanthropic opportunities.

The proposed design from Collins Pennington Architects, subject to Development Approval, comprises 40 social and affordable units – 20 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units – on Block 25 Section 72 Dickson, as well as ground-floor communal and commercial spaces for meetings, a social enterprise and play.

The Common Ground housing model assists homeless people into permanent housing with the ongoing support they need to stay housed, and the Dickson site, the second in the ACT after Gungahalin, will support the needs of a mix of tenants and be built in partnership with Housing ACT.

Housing ACT is seeking feedback from industry on what social and other community outcomes the project may achieve, any innovation additions to the design, and how long construction may take.

Common Ground Dickson

Common Ground Board member Di Kargas Bray says the Common Ground approach works not only with housing but also connections with the community.

The ACT Government wants to hear from interested builders on what further information would be required to tender and the types of innovative philanthropic support should be considered with the upcoming procurement.

The government hopes to see the project completed by late 2021, and a separate procurement will be conducted for tenant management and support services.

“The Canberra community has always shown its willingness to give to the greater good and a key to the success of Common Ground Gungahlin was the positive community response and I hope that will be repeated in Dickson,” said Minister for Housing and Suburban Development Yvette Berry.

“This could involve partnering with commercial tradespeople or suppliers, groups or individuals to contribute anything from construction resources and materials to essential household goods and services.”

Common Ground Board member Di Kargas Bray welcomed the opportunity for industry to get on board early.

“Experience shows the Common Ground approach works by helping previously homeless people not only with housing but also connections with the community,” she said.

“The Common Ground model – based on a partnership between the government, community and private sectors – makes it particularly suitable for philanthropy.”

The closing date for comments is 4 February 2020. Subject to DA approval, construction is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2021.

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