According to Brisbane-based architect Russell Hall, governments weaponise developers with the right to inflict buyers with the developer’s whims as conditions of purchase via covenants. He says this can make homes unaffordable and unsustainable.
AustralianSuper’s 25 per cent share in Assemble Communities has buoyed the innovative Melbourne-based developer that offers renters the option to buy after five years in some developments. In 2020 it’s brought on a massive 17 new staff.
Governments should be investing in home energy upgrades, now. Improving home energy efficiency is a good investment at the best of times: it cuts power bills, makes homes healthier, and reduces emissions. But the Coronavirus pandemic and the job losses it has caused mean that now is a particularly important moment for governments to back […]
With the economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis deepening the challenge of reaching international energy and climate goals – according to the annual update on efficiency trends from the International Energy Agency – there are major hurdles standing in the way of the net zero carbon pathways being offered by governments in Europe and the […]
An electricity deal struck for both the good of the planet and thousands of residential tenants has been labelled a win-win by academics.
Joost Bakker is one of sustainability’s most provocative advocates. He challenges cherished ideas and leaves nothing to sentiment. His latest project in Melbourne is no different. He doesn’t care for timber, says food needs to be grown in the home, and that off grid will be the future.
Life in a manufactured home estate – a more permanent iteration of a caravan park where residents live in relocatable homes – is sold as an affordable way to retire among people in the same age bracket. But new research shows it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
This week the Victorian Government unveiled a “big housing build” plan set to “transform the social housing system”, finally heeding calls from the housing sector to address the sharp rise in cost of living pressures and energy affordability.
A long-overdue investment to raise the energy efficiency of homes in Victoria has denoted the state a “clear leader” in climate solutions, but a climate change think tank has called on the government to aim even higher – for net-zero all-electric homes.
Passive House experts Maxa Design has cleaned up several recent awards with a Passive House home made out of rammed earth in Donvale, Victoria. Known as the Earth House, the home has won a bunch of accolades at the Design Matters Awards – “Building Design of the Year 2020”, “Best residential new home design $1 […]
A look at three housing estates that are mandating sustainability covenants. And surprise surprise, the buyers are lapping them up. We look at Mullum Creek Estate in Donvale, Melbourne, The Cape in Gippsland east of Melbourne and Salt Torquay, on Victoria’s western coast where after the first builder showed a higher energy efficiency rating could be done easily and cheaply, is now 80 per cent sold.
Action to make Australia’s housing resilient in the face of climate change has never been more urgent – and the post-pandemic recovery should be the time to do it.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is not reaching many of those who need it, with about 18 per cent of low-income private rental households in housing stress, yet not receiving the income supplement, a new AHURI report reveals. The Demand-side assistance in Australia’s rental housing market: exploring reform options report modelled a number of possible cost-effective […]
As many as 50 churches owned by the Uniting Church in metropolitan Sydney alone lie dormant and unused. Meanwhile there is a shortage of crisis and affordable accommodation.
As consumers become more sustainably conscious, the typical kitchen design has been turned on its head by revered Italian kitchen brand Snaidero. The company recently unveiled its first Australian project to feature precision-engineered porcelain fronted joinery at Seafarers, the new Yarra River waterfront residences in Melbourne developed by Riverlee. Designed and crafted in Italy, the […]
A former minerals explorer turned developer is proud that each home he and his team builds is more sustainable than the last. With a new luxury home called Vanquish in the Brisbane suburb of Auchenflower, this has culminated in a Passive House certified home that was offered to market for between $3 million and $4 […]
More customers are concerned about the environmental aspect of their homes than ever before. What a great time to make this a standard offering. The key to getting more people into net zero homes could be an opt-out rather than an opt-in strategy, where customer have to downgrade from sustainability features rather than upgrade into […]
More than $5 billion was poured into social housing after the GFC and most economists supported the tactic for its propensity to boost jobs and stimulate the economy. This time round funding for social housing was a glaring omission from the federal government’s Covid-recovery 2020 budget. The sector wasn’t ignored completely: an extra $1 billion […]
The Nightingale model for sustainable housing that started in Melbourne has spread its wings to Adelaide. While details are still scant, the announcement from Nightingale Housing identified Adelaide as a “place in which it is easy to imagine a Nightingale community flourishing.” “Adelaide’s commitments to renewable power and carbon neutrality, its diverse affordable housing initiatives […]
Tone Wheeler of Environa Studio says there are three options to find land for affordable housing: government, churches and philanthropists. The government seems little interested and same with philanthropists, he says. In a new position paper on affordable housing commissioned by Churches Housing, Wheeler makes the case for social housing on church land. Social housing […]
While the New South Wales government’s revamped housing diversity policy is being touted as the answer to the state’s shortfalls in affordable housing, I believe the unintended consequences may have the opposite effect. The proposed changes (Housing Diversity SEPP) are far more likely to suffocate future supply. This is due to the removal of provisions […]
Many a beautiful old building has been lost to money-grabbing developers but what happens when heritage stands in the way of sustainable, community-oriented needs-based housing in the inner city? That’s where things get complicated.
An aspiration for home ownership has long been a sacred cow in Australia, as it has been in the UK, but the introduction of the Build to Rent (BTR) asset class is providing a compelling alternative to traditional housing models.
The heat is on for Western Sydney in more ways than one. Not only is the region expected to regularly hit 50 degrees in summer, it’s already done so. And yet it’s earmarked for major expansion of population. With a new report Cooling Common Spaces in Densifying Urban Environments the NSW government’s land development agency […]
What’s a sustainable house? According to Perth based architect Ben Caine from Leanhous, sustainability is a “very loose term that can be interpreted lots of different ways”. That’s why he can see loads of benefits in Sustainable House Day on 20 September this year being a virtual event with lots of online tours and virtual […]
Most Australian homes have been built to notoriously poor standards. The energy performance of existing homes in Victoria, for instance, averages 1.8 stars – 6 stars is mandatory for newly built homes under the 10-star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NaTHERS). Decision-makers typically fail to appreciate the importance of a low star rating, even though […]
NatHERS is expanding its patch to include better measures of energy efficiency for existing houses.
Throughout Australia, when land is rezoned from industrial to high-rise residential, a charge is levied to help fund the required infrastructure. In NSW it is called an infrastructure contribution. The NSW government is reviewing it in order to cut “red tape” and “fix the uncertainty”. They are words that ought to set off alarm bells. […]
Natural ventilation, or lack of. The modernist triumph of bare-arse glass for fully airconditioned office buildings has become the ubiquitous answer for high rise residential. Brisbane is now plagued by them. Pretty much the same for other Australian capitals with different climates. The first dilemma on observation is: is it office or residential. A slightly […]
The truth is, governments have the power to solve social housing shortages and homelessness. But once social housing becomes a bloody-minded numbers game of delays, deficits, and denials, it invariably degenerates into the dark art of political obfuscation.