This innovative project aims to create a new pipe-line of affordable rental housing for single people who are homeless
The reason for Garden Flats
Heading Home is a cross-sector collaboration driven by Wentworth to end homelessness in the region. Ending homelessness means finding homes and we can no longer look to social housing to provide the solution to homelessness. The wait times are 10+ years and government is not increasing its property portfolio. Each community has to look within its own resources to solve this problem.
The Heading Home Project Group recognised that the private sector holds most of the land and housing in the region. Garden Flats or Secondary Dwellings in the backyard of residential homes are a way for homeowners to be part of the solution to homelessness – while also increasing their property value and potentially generating extra income.
In the Blue Mountains Nepean region, we have an under-supply of small, affordable rental housing. There are many people in our communities who need a garden flat such as older women, older men, students, single people and even couples. There is an urgent need to build capacity in the lower end of the private rental market by growing low cost rental accommodation, predominantly for single people.
What is a Garden Flat
The Garden Flat product has been developed specifically to target the lack of affordable rental housing for single people on Jobseeker. Recent innovation in the design of small housing has made possible a quality product of a size that is suitable for single people, affordable to very low-income earners and provides a reasonable return for homeowners.
At around 20-35 m2, Garden flats are small secondary dwellings designed to be built at low cost in backyards. They can cost as little as $45,000-$50,000 plus site and approval costs and be built in NSW under the Affordable Housing SEPP.
As well as increasing property value, this is a unique and clever way to help people stay in their communities and prevent homelessness. It taps into the spirit of mutual benefit that’s at the heart of great communities and can be win-win for both landowner and tenant.