New approaches are needed to improve access social and affordable housing, according to new research from the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc).

The SBEnrc’s Procuring Social and Affordable Housing project found Australia needs new housing and community typologies; a greater understanding of the changing demographics of those needing better access to social and affordable housing; and more diverse housing with more innovative and responsive approaches.

The research highlighted the need for mix of procurement approaches to address the needs of a diverse cohort that includes remote Indigenous communities, those with a disability, key-workers, the aging, Millennials and GenY.

These approaches could include evolving Community Housing Provider models, shared equity models, cooperatives, social benefit bonds, build to rent, maximising vacant infrastructure for short-term pop-up shelters, and the Common Ground model.

‘With varied levels of experience across the states and territories, it is important to understand the pre-conditions for success and apply learnings to build nation-wide uptake and understanding,’ says Project Leader Judy Kraatz.

The Social Procurement project has developed guidelines for organisations that deliver social and affordable rental housing to follow when they choose to purchase a social outcome when buying goods or services.

It was informed by a 360 degree survey undertaken in mid-2018.  Representatives from community housing organisations, state and local government, peak bodies, government and private developers, financiers, architects, and builders from across Australia took part in the survey.

Innovative funding schemes, planning mechanisms (including value capture and inclusionary zoning), partnerships, CHP models and estate renewal were considered as the top five approaches to be considered in improving access to social housing, Ms Kraatz says.