An innovative new housing development model, which encourages the creation of additional affordable housing through the leveraging of increased land value in the planning process, is being hailed by innovative not-for-profit housing provider Nightingale as a gamechanger for the nation as it grapples with an unprecedented housing crisis.
The Progressive Residential Affordability Development Solution (PRADS), developed by housing group Housing All Australians (HIA), has been used for the first time in Nightingale’s latest project in North Coburg and has led to the provision of affordable housing in the development going from 5 to 15 per cent.
Nightingale CEO Dan McKenna said the beauty of PRADS was that it allowed projects to increase social housing without threatening the project’s financial viability, or forcing them to seek subsidies from taxpayers.
“The housing crisis won’t be fixed with a single solution. It’s going to require us trying many different things, from many different angles, to ensure the homes we need are built in a timeframe that will help people put a much-need roof over their heads,” said McKenna.
“The PRADS model is a fantastic approach and we hope it will only gain momentum as more projects like North Coburg demonstrate its benefits.”
McKenna said the excitement around PRADS had increased after the Victorian Government announced measures in its recent Housing Statement, with incentives for developers to create projects with a minimum 10 per cent social housing.
“Those changes flagged by the Victorian Government, deployed concurrently with PRADS, will make it just so much more attractive for any developer to include a significant affordable housing component in their multi-unit residential projects,” said McKenna.
Under the PRADS model, local government, acting as the planning authority, grants concessions related to height limits to developers in exchange for a commitment to include a substantial number of affordable housing units in the project.
This planning concession serves as the foundation for creating the affordable housing stock by enhancing the project's land value which becomes the subsidy for the affordable housing. This uplift enables developers to offer more affordable rent to tenants.
It the case of the North Coburg project, Nightingale worked with Merri-bek Council to increase the height by two storeys as part of the rezoning of a warehouse site from commercial to residential. This increased the value of the land, with Nightingale using that increase to fund the additional affordable housing units.
“Nightingale acknowledges the collaboration with Merri-bek Council in their support of the PRADS model, and the work of HAA in developing the model,” said McKenna.
“To fix a broken Australian housing market will require exactly this kind of innovation and collaboration.”
For more information about the PRADS model visit housingallaustralians.org.au or call Robert Pradolin on 0418 387 159.
For more information about Nightingale Housing visit nightingalehousing.org
More about Nightingale’s North Coburg development:
In March 2021 Nightingale Housing acquired an industrial site on the corner of Sheppard St and Norris St, North Coburg, for its latest development. At the time, the land was in the process of being rezoned from industrial to residential and mixed-use.
While the original incorporated plan zoning approach only prescribed 5 per cent of homes to be affordable, Nightingale utilised the PRADS model to unlock a provision that allowed it to increase the height limit from three to five storeys, as long as the proportion of affordable housing was increased to 15 per cent. In October 2022 councillors at Merri-bek Council, the relevant planning authority, agreed to this change.
About Nightingale Housing:
Nightingale Housing is a not-for-profit developer committed to creating sustainable, affordable, and community-focused housing solutions. Their projects prioritise people and the planet while striving to address the housing affordability crisis.
About Housing All Australians (HAA):
Housing All Australians is a private sector for-purpose organization and registered charity with a mission to increase the supply and access to affordable housing at scale throughout Australia. HAA firmly believes that housing is fundamental economic infrastructure for a prosperous country, just like infrastructure such as roads, schools, and hospitals. Their mission is to engage the private sector to prevent the long-term economic and social consequences of homelessness by addressing the chronic shortage of low-income affordable housing. HAA collaborates with private and public sector industry stakeholders to find innovative solutions to this critical issue.
Ben Hart on 0407 445 551 or firstname.lastname@example.org