There is such strong alignment between what collaborative housing can deliver and the strategic goals Australia’s cities and regions have identified as important. Collaborative housing can play a role in boosting the supply of affordable housing, creating inclusive and connected communities, caring for an ageing population and keeping cities compact, sustainable and resilient.
Here are some ideas that have emerged in our research with stakeholders, for ways that government can help to kickstart collaborative housing in Australia.
Land disposal and governance
Innovation in this area is fundamental to supporting the growth of collaborative housing.
Strategies that are known to help support collaborative housing include:
Using government development projects to showcase examples of collaborative housing as part of a diverse, more affordable housing mix that suits the local community
Designating government land to prioritise collaborative housing
Ensuring tender processes allow collaborative housing proposals to participate
Offering deferred settlement of land purchase costs for collaborative housing projects buying land from government
Considering innovative tenures such as community land trusts so that land is managed in a way that ensures long-term affordability
Internationally, the cities where collaborative housing thrives all have supportive government policies in place. In some European cities, all major developments must set aside a percentage of land for collaborative housing.
The planning system
Here are some strategies to better enable collaborative housing through the planning system in Australia:
Ensure metropolitan and regional planning strategies recognise the potential for collaborative housing to help meet specific goals, targets and outcomes
Create a standard land use definition for collaborative housing (or potentially a set of definitions for the different models) so that it can be properly and consistently assessed within the planning system
Develop model planning guidelines to guide local governments to integrate collaborative housing into their land use planning and development controls.
Provide planning incentives for collaborative housing.
There’s an opportunity for Affordable Housing providers to consider and build upon their current collaborative principles. There’s also an opportunity for policy makers to identify and remove barriers that hinder uptake and delivery of collaborative housing in favour of the status quo (individual ownership or rental options) across the full range of housing types – apartments, boarding houses, small blocks, villas, etc.
Some of the most innovative collaborative housing projects in Australia and overseas are the result of partnerships between government, community housing providers and the private sector.