IMAGINE designing and developing an affordable housing complex up to a development application stage in a day?
That is the task the Illawarra Property Council of Australia and Shoalhaven City Council set participants at a affordable housing workshop at the Bomaderry Bowling Club.
The workshop featured representatives from both organisations, Southern Cross Community Housing, architects, planners, developers, quantity surveyors, tenants and designers.
Illawarra Property Council of Australia deputy chair Jennifer Macquarie said the plan was to develop an affordable housing project on a site in Bomaderry.
“Shoalhaven Council has an affordable housing strategy underway. They recognise the need for affordable housing,” she said.
“The property council has agreed to assist them with that and today we have had pro bono, free contribution of time from architects, planners, developer and quantity surveyors.
“We are hoping at the end of the day to have a project designed and costed so we can show council the viability of a project.
“It’s going to be fantastic for Bomaderry if we can actually get it out of the ground.
“The theory is to have a development application ready in a day.”
She said Shoalhaven Council planners participated in the workshop, assessing what designs team developed.
It's not just designing a building, it’s designing a community that would be fantastic for people to live in.Illawarra Property Council of Australia deputy chair Jennifer Macquarie
“I don't expect we will have a formal DA ready in the day but in principle we are consulting with council planners how the proposal fits in with council requirements,” she said.
Ms Macquarie said it was unusual to have so many different professions and organisations coming together for such a project.
“Collaboration is the way to go on all of these things,” she said.
“It crunches the time frame - a design of a project can take months and months and then getting it through council can take a long time.
“Here we have people all on the same page wanting the same objective to create a fantastic affordable housing project.
“It’s progressive of Shoalhaven City Council and they’re hoping if this project gets out of the ground it's an example for other councils to follow.”
She said the proposal was an initiative of the property council.
“We approached a number of local councils to help with a project and Shoalhaven was the most progressed and had already identified some sites,” she said.
“It all came together really well.”
Two teams of designers came up with a couple of different plans, which were assessed to decide the best plan to progress with.
“We are also consulting with future tenants,” she said.
“They were here today, contributing to how they would like to live.
“It's not just designing a building, it’s designing a community that would be fantastic for people to live in.”
About a week previously a workshop involved the tenants as part of the design brief.
“The architects spoke to tenants, got all their ideas on how they live, how they move around their buildings, whether they are there during the day or not, whether they would use common facilities.
“All of that was fed into the design brief for today. So it is very much grounded in how the building is going to be used.
“If it works well and is cost affordable Shoalhaven council has other sites they could potentially do the same on. But of course, other councils will also be looking at the outcome.”