Seeking expert advice at an early stage will help you to assess the feasibility of your ideas, minimise risks, think through the various options and plan your next steps.
Will planning authorities allow it?
If you have a site or general location in mind, check with your local council or ask a qualified planner, designer or property consultant to do so on your behalf. This will depend on a number of issues including what uses the land is zoned for and what the applicable planning instruments allow. See our basic guidance for small projects and large projects first.
How will we finance it?
Speak to financial institutions about the financing options available. For small projects this could be as straightforward as looking into co-borrower loans, for larger projects the finance will be more complex. Projects with a defined social impact may want to explore impact investment. Read more on financing small projects and larger projects.
What are the design possibilities?
Speaking to a designer about what you want to achieve may help you to visualise the possibilities. If you have a site already, you could ask them to do a basic feasibility assessment and sketch some concepts for you. If you don’t, they can advise you on what kind of site characteristics would be ideal for your project. Read more on design here.
How will we make this happen?
There are professionals that offer development management services for collaborative design projects – it’s a fairly new but growing industry. Services might typically include assessing project feasibility, helping with land acquisition and finance, managing the collaborative design process with resident households and managing approval and construction.
Are there legal or financial pitfalls?
Collaborative housing is relatively recent to Australia and this comes with some risks that need to be managed, particularly around co-ownership and co-financing. If you’re serious about proceeding, read the general guidance on legalities and then be sure to seek legal and financial advice that’s tailored to your particular situation.
What if households fall out with each other?
To give everybody the best chance of getting along, make sure that from the beginning you have clear shared expectations about how you want things to work. Accept that conflicts may arise and put processes in place for working through them. If conflicts can’t be resolved, it’s important to have a clear process for leaving the group. Seek expert legal advice on the best way to protect the interests of all households and manage any issues that may arise.
The information on this website is general advice only.
Always seek expert legal & financial advice tailored to your situation.