14 October 2007

Land to be rezoned in Watson for affordable housing

| Glimmertwins
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The ACT Government is proposing to rezone a portion of Watson in north Canberra to allow for more affordable housing to be built.

The Village Building Company has asked the Government to change the zoning of its former Australian Heritage Village site on the Federal Highway, so it can build up to 300 new homes.

The site was originally built as a tourist facility but would require refurbishment to operate as originally intended. The proposal is to redevelop as medium density residential development with different levels of affordable housing types.

Planning Minister Andrew Barr says it is an ideal location for more housing.

“We do have a very pressing need to provide additional land particularly in areas close to existing services, employment opportunities and public transport,” he said.

“If this variation proceeds then we’ll be able to see a development consisting of a variety of different housing types focused at the affordable end.”

“Given we have a considerable amount of land set aside for entertainment, accommodation and leisure elsewhere in the city it would seem appropriate to go forward with a variation here to provide more affordable housing for Canberrans,” he said.

More information can be found at Draft Variation No.261 (868KB pdf file)

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If there’s sufficient capacity in the building industry (of which a large component is the size of the available workforce) to meet demand, then natural competition will see finished prices reduced.

Currently there is *not* sufficient capacity in the building industry to meet demand, which means that any tweaking by either increasing land supply or giving rebates to buyers will simply flow into the profit margins of the building industry.

Snahons_scv6_berlina10:54 am 16 Oct 07

Pandy, lower costs = increased profit for the builder. Since when do builders lower their price as a result of cost reductions ?

Affordable housing is when I paid 1.5 times my then ASO 3 wage to buy a block. Now after many a promotion I would have to pay 3 times my wage to get a smaller 500m block. That aint affordable.

Also bring in a whole lot of Chinese workers and deregulate the building industry, keeping the standards the same. That will bring down the cost of housing.

Build small houses, with concrete floors, everything normal, and prohibit extensions for 50 years. that’d keep them affordable.

sepi, you are dead right

VYBerlinaV8...the_original_and_best11:25 am 15 Oct 07

‘Affordable housing’ is a myth. I don’t believe it can be artifically generated, short of picking a very small number of lucky people and simply giving them a couple of hundred thousand dollars to put towards a home.

Proper supply side solutions are the only answer. The fact that 300 homes could be built is much more significant than trying to come up with some ‘affordability’ program.

Only some small proportion of the housing will be ‘affordable’.

Like in the massive building behind Ainslie oval – only a small proportion of it is actually self supported aged care which is what got it thru the planning hurdles. (i think).

swamiOFswank2:38 pm 14 Oct 07

Affordable Housing = future slum

Is Village actually the current lease holder???

This is great for them – they’ve held onto a deteriorating asset in the inner north for years, and now get to treat a green-belt/tourism venture lease as a residential zone.

Pity the ACT gov and the NCA didn’t extend the same courtesy to other nearby leaseholders who had to sell out at a massive loss.

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