Sydney launches challenge to diversify housing

Sydney Alternative Housing Challenge diversity cooperative living affordability

The City of Sydney has launched a challenge to develop innovative new ways to make Sydney’s housing more diverse and affordable.

By encouraging new ways of thinking about housing across financing, management and design, the Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge aims to identify and develop new models to increase affordable housing supply.

The challenge is open to anyone interested in innovation in the housing sector, including property professionals, financiers, lawyers, community organisers, policy managers, planners, designers and students.

Following consideration by a jury, a maximum of six entrants will receive $20,000 each to develop their concepts.

Entries must:

  • Demonstrate innovation in at least two of these areas: planning, design, ownership type, tenancy type, management (including sharing of facilities), construction, urban land supply and financing
  • Result in cheaper housing or meet the City’s definition of affordable housing
  • Be financially viable, and socially and environmentally sustainable
  • Be liveable for residents
  • Be scalable and replicable

Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the city is grappling with a housing affordability crisis.

“We need a diversity of housing to support diversity in our community,” Ms Moore said.

The City of Sydney has assisted in the construction of 835 new affordable housing dwellings since 2004, by collecting levies from developers and selling our land to affordable housing providers at discount rates.

This type of affordable housing allows key workers such as teachers, nurses and paramedics to live close to their place of work, improving their wellbeing, shortening travel times and reducing congestion.

“While this is a proven mechanism, it’s simply not enough. We need to meet the needs of low-income workers, elderly residents and families in our city,” Cr Moore said.

“That’s why the Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge is looking for new ideas – from creative tenancy arrangements like shared or co-operative living, to new funding and delivery models or previously unexplored ways of developing small sites.”

The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the short-listed concepts as part of the City’s consultations to shape its next major strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2050.

View details for challenge entrants here.  

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