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Larger projects

This section provides guidance for larger collaborative housing projects –those that accommodate more than 4 households, and typically up to 20 or more.

What’s unique about these projects?

These collaborative projects are for multiple households and similar in scale to conventional multi-unit developments or housing estates. They might be building group projects, cohousing, cooperatives or a combination of these. They can be geared towards ownership, rental, mixed equity or some combination. Their size introduces a level of complexity that requires an experienced development manager.

What are the challenges?

These projects are competing with developers for land which makes land acquisition a challenge, particularly in cities like Sydney where land is very expensive. Prospective owners will need to be guided by an expert development manager who understands the process of feasibility assessment, land acquisition, getting development finance and navigating the development approvals process. Prospective owners will likely need to commit a sizable chunk of equity at the project outset to cover land acquisition and development costs, unless innovative land acquisition and financing strategies are employed. Whether the project is geared towards ownership, rental, mixed equity or some combination, here’s some guidance about how to make it happen.

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Larger projects legalities
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Find a development manager

An expert with the right skillset is needed to navigate the complexities of the property development process and manage the input of multiple households in decision making. Learn more

Acquire land

The high cost of land, particularly in urban areas, can be a significant barrier for collaborative housing projects. Various land acquisition strategies have been trialled, the best strategy depends on the specifics of the project and location. Learn more

Secure finance

Financing land acquisition and property development is a key challenge, and often the reason that collaborative housing projects fail. Learn from the experiences of recent Australian projects. Learn more.

Know the legalities

The most important legal considerations concern ownership structure. This will have implications for ownership of private and communal space, processes for buying, selling and renting dwellings, what happens when someone dies, and how conflicts and decision-making are managed. Learn more

Manage development approval

Your project will need to be approved by your local government. It’s important to understand the planning legislation and controls that govern what kind of development can occur on your site. Learn more.

Agree on governance

In collaborative housing, the governance structure and degree of resident involvement in day-to-day management is a decision for community-members. Learn more

Getting along

Sharing more with your neighbours creates more opportunity for disagreements, but also more opportunity to sort out issues in a supportive environment. There are a number of ways to ensure everyone gets along as well as possible. Learn more

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