Better Neighbourhoods Program fact sheet (pdf 80 kB)

Program - Fact Sheet
Shaping our suburbs
Better Neighbourhoods is an important public housing initiative
– initially developed by the South Australian Housing Trust and
transferred to Renewal SA for management in 2012.
Better Neighbourhoods is:
• Changing the face of Adelaide’s inner suburbs
• Generating positive outcomes for all stakeholders
There are significant asset management challenges related
to this housing stock:
• About 30 per cent of the housing stock is more than
40 years old
• Around 30 per cent of these properties are double units
(adjoined maisonette style housing) in high concentrations
• Maintenance costs for double units are generally 50 per
cent higher than for single dwellings
• Emerging as self-funding.
• Upgrading these older properties to contemporary amenity
standard costs some $24,000 per house
Land for affordable housing
• The state government is restricted in its ability to meet
amenity targets – that is, providing the desired level of
amenity across its housing range
The state government faces some difficult issues in relation to
ensuring there is sufficient land available to meet future demand
needs, particularly for affordable housing for low income
• While urban regeneration projects improve social and
economic outcomes and promote home ownership, these
achievements are offset by reduced rental stock available
and displacement of tenants
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA)
commissioned a study in 2003, which highlighted these
issues in light of current trends in population and economic
• Progressively decreasing levels of revenue and funding
have resulted in the sale of housing stock to fund urban
regeneration, building replacement houses and upgrades
of older properties,
The study noted that the present level of identified land stocks
in metropolitan Adelaide was some 50,000 allotments and
identified a further 45,000 possible additional allotments.
• This has significantly contributed to a decrease in the state
government’s stock holdings by over 14,000 dwellings,
or 23.4 per cent, in the past fifteen years.
The report noted that these two sources could combine to
provide a total of 95,000 allotments, enough to meet Adelaide
housing needs for some 12-16 years at the predicted demand
rate of 6,000 to 8,000 dwelling starts a year.
These management issues are being resolve through the Better
Neighbourhoods program.
The UDIA report emphasised that this relatively finite land supply
would either increase pressure for high-density redevelopment
in inner and middle ring suburbs, or require managed expansion
of Adelaide’s Urban Growth Boundary.
The report also noted that land supply issues would also put
more pressure on near-metropolitan areas, such as Mount
Barker, the Adelaide Hills, the Barossa and the South Coast.
The key aims
Key outcomes for Better Neighbourhoods are:
• A program that is self-funding through sale of housing
allotments created for sale to the open market
• Renewed neighbourhoods through replacement of
aged social housing with more appropriate homes
• Housing that meets the specific needs of tenants
Meeting the challenges
• Maintenance of social housing inventory levels
The state government has large land and housing assets in the
inner and middle rings of suburban Adelaide, where the average
price of a small allotment is almost equivalent to the cost of
building a small house.
• Improvements to Adelaide’s housing infrastructure
and residential streetscapes.
How does it work?
Better Neighbourhoods targets small “spot” redevelopment
sites in appropriate locations across Adelaide and in regional
areas. The enabling factor is the rising value of land, particularly
in Adelaide, and the narrowing of the gap between land and
building costs, as land costs rise.
The key elements of a typical Better Neighbourhoods project
• Identifying aged housing stock in valuable locations
• Removing the old housing
• Reducing block size (often by half)
• Generating, for example, 10 or 11 new blocks from five
old blocks
• Selling, say, five blocks to private ownership to generate
• Building five or six new social housing residences that
offer contemporary amenity levels and meet tenants’
specific needs -- effectively from the land sale revenue.
The outcomes are:
• Better social housing and maintained inventory levels
• The construction of the new homes is self-funded from
land sales
• Social housing tenants access established infrastructure –
schools, shops, transport, power, water, sewerage
• Establishing vibrant communities with a mix of public
and private residents
• Injecting new life into older suburbs
• Maximising use of established infrastructure
in target locations.
The building industry also recognises the benefits of the
program to its sector through the creation of new, small housing
markets in tightly held and sought-after locations.
Better Neighbourhoods targets areas of relatively high demand,
which ensures strong buyer demand for the consequent land
and housing available for sale. Not only does this maximise
returns to state government, it creates an “instant” market for
these properties and permits developers and builders to meet
buyer demand.
Better Neighbourhoods has the endorsement of the property
industry, with the Urban Development Institute of Australia,
the Housing Industry Association and the Master Builders
Association all offering strong support for the program.
Key elements
The Better Neighbourhoods program relies on essential housing
industry knowledge and vision. This includes:
• A thorough understanding of housing issues, imperatives
and policy
• Broad and deep analysis of housing stock
• Recognition of relative maintenance costs
• Tenant lives are enhanced by housing more appropriate
to their needs in areas of choice in the inner suburbs
• Appreciation of infrastructure capacities
• Surplus funds from the sale of premium land can support
the development of lower-value sites in other areas.
• Engagement with local government and other stakeholders
Broadly, Better Neighbourhoods is creating a more integrated
balance of public and private housing and providing public
housing that is virtually indistinguishable from private housing.
• Awareness of social tenants’ general and specific needs.
This achieves a more sustainable, long-term model for healthy
integrated communities, contributes to better use of established
infrastructure and reduced expenditure on new infrastructure
and recognises the special needs of our changing clientele.
Working in partnership
with communities
Better Neighbourhoods provides opportunities to work in
partnership with local government and the private sector.
Better Neighbourhoods assists local government by:
• Generating increased rate revenue from new,
higher-valued properties created through land sales
• Driving dramatic improvements in suburban streetscapes
and landscapes
• Providing better living environs for our tenants
• Awareness of property price and preference trends
• Understanding of property industry trends and initiatives
With these areas of understanding, we can apply the Better
Neighbourhoods template of requirements and identify
suitable areas, suburbs, streets and specific housing stock
that meet the criteria.
The Better Neighbourhoods program plans to replace up to
five thousand public housing properties over 10-15 years
in the metropolitan areas between Gepps Cross in the north
and Darlington in the south.
Contact details
Gianni Cirelli
Development Manager
Major & Residential Project Delivery
P: (08) 8207 0590
E: [email protected]
Renewal SA
Level 9, Riverside Centre,
North Terrace, Adelaide,
South Australia 5000
Produced by Renewal SA - January 2015