Vulnerable and at-risk women in Canberra will soon have access to a new initiative that could provide an affordable pathway to home ownership, thanks to a partnership between a number of organisations in the capital.
A build-to-rent-to-buy proof-of-concept model will be developed over the course of the next six months in Ginninderry under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, by Ginninderry – a joint venture between Suburban Land Agency and Riverview Developments – and by community housing provider Community Housing Canberra.
Ginninderry is Canberra’s newest region, and the first to cross the ACT-NSW border. The ever-growing area has a strong sustainability focus and was the first in the ACT to be awarded a six-star Green Star Communities rating.
The whole region will one day be home to around 30,000 residents, with plans to ensure every home is within a five-minute walk of a park or open space.
The MOU will also look at an appropriate funding initiative to back the scheme. Should the pilot proceed, the construction is anticipated to begin later this year.
“This initiative is a fantastic opportunity and supports the ACT government’s commitment to putting housing first for those that need it in our community,” said the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Yvette Berry.
“Our government has a long-held commitment to intervening where the housing market fails to provide for people in our community and this MOU directly illustrates that.”
The move came after the latest Domain House Price Report showed the capital was the second most expensive city to buy a house in the country, recording a median house price of $1,074,187 and pushing the great Australian dream of owning property further away for many property hunters.
Under the build-to-rent-to-buy model, a vulnerable woman would pay affordable rent at 74.9 per cent of the market rate to a community housing provider over a 10-year period. During this period, a savings plan would be created on her behalf with the aim of purchasing the property.
By the end of the period, should the woman wish to purchase the residence, she would be able to do so under the savings plan created.
“Through this housing initiative we aim to provide women with low but secure employment incomes, often with little or no deposit, with access to a safe, secure and affordable home with a built-in pathway to home ownership,” said Community Housing Canberra chief executive Andrew Hannan.
“The bundling is the key difference, and we believe we can deliver a greater and potentially generational impact for these women and their families. We see new enquiries every day from women of all ages, and it’s fantastic to think that we can better address this massive, un-met demand.”