Griffith University: Social housing liveability framework tackles Australia’s critical shortage

Meeting the demand for affordable and social housing through high-density urban solutions and precincts is the focus of a new framework from Griffith University researchers.

Dr Reid says the days of building high-density towers without considering the needs of the people who live in them and the surrounding community are no longer sustainable.

“Our early findings are that starting with liveability and accessibility principles, as the basis for developing medium to high-density urban housing maximises investment and minimises the future risk to the community,” she said.

The final report to be presented in September will highlight findings of a Queensland case study of the Green Square Close precinct in Fortitude Valley which provides affordable housing for around 80 people.

“Our parallel case study from Western Australia will focus on the housing amenity of Bennett Street and the Drummond precinct in Perth, and innovations in medium and high-density housing found there,’’ Dr Reid said.

“With escalating housing prices and economic uncertainty, many Australians are at their limit and the past year has exacerbated the number of individuals and families seeking housing options.”

“This continuing demand is placing significant pressure on governments and private housing organisations to supply more social and affordable housing solutions.”

The liveability framework will form the basis for a set of quality standards that can be used by the social and affordable housing sector to guide design, precinct development and the management of more effective social and affordable higher density housing.

Dr Reid said the report was timely because it also focuses on the role governments can play in improving the adoption of liveability and accessibility standards to drive new urban forms and higher density urban precincts.

“With the Queensland Government’s $1.9 billion commitment in the budget to social and affordable housing, now is the time for new standards and a roadmap based on research that’s only interested in what works for the people who desperately need social and affordable housing and the industry at large.”

The final industry report for Developing a Liveability Framework for Social and Affordable Higher Density Housing will be released at the end of September, 2021.

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