This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Purpose Who is this guide for? Change and innovation Context 2 2 2 2
Principles of Good Design
Objectives Broad principles: Sustainable housing Well located development Adaptable housing Site speciﬁc principles: House form Integrating into the streetscape Design to facilitate community Land and lot arrangements Titling and ownership Parking considerations 3 3 3 5 6 8 8 10 11 12 13 14
Masterplanning Mixed use zone Character zone Medium to high density transit zone Residential zone 15 16 18 20 22
For further information For more information on design guidelines For other information on good design 24 24 24
Investment in design allows the development to maximise the space available and create usable and pleasant places. in particular the ﬁne balance between housing quality and affordability. and the need for diverse and sustainable communities with environmentally responsible development. however there is recognition of the importance of affordable housing. This is particularly important where the housing market and communities can sometimes be resistant to change and diversity. designers and policy makers. All housing should be well planned and designed. and this is the responsibility of all parties involved. However. While principles of good urban design for any form of housing also apply to affordable housing. Context This guide highlights principles of good design that are of particular relevance to affordable housing. focusing on planning and design. this need not be the case. For policy makers and planners it provides ideas to consider in setting the policy and planning context that best support good quality affordable housing outcomes. it provides good practice ideas and outlines the expectations of the SA Affordable Housing Trust for those developments applying for certiﬁcation under the government’s affordable housing programs. there are particular elements that provide for more affordable construction. including developers. designers and policy makers consider the impact of design on affordable housing. Increasingly. For developers and builders. Guidelines for the planning and design of affordable housing do not vary from those considered for any other development. 2 . Design becomes a critical element in the planning and building of more modest accommodation. Who is this guide for? This guide provides some practical methods to integrate affordable housing into our communities. It then provides some practical examples of how affordable housing may be applied in particular policy areas. This guide has taken into consideration a number of elements. It aims to help developers. Change and innovation The planning and design of affordable housing can be a complex issue. However. special attention should be given to ensure that the development of affordable housing gives conscious attention to ensure good principles of design are employed. It covers both broader principles of location and sustainability as well as site speciﬁc considerations. However the more investment in design the better quality housing outcome and greater market demand is achieved.INTRODUCTION Purpose Affordable housing and good urban design are not always seen as compatible objectives. taking into consideration the character and broader objectives of the area. and more sensitive and practical designs.
and MAXIMISING PENETRATION OF RAINWATER through porous surfaces. RAINWATER TANKS installed and connected to the toilet for ﬂushing. Objectives • To provide WELL LOCATED affordable housing that has access to services and facilities. • To provide ADAPTABLE HOUSING to suit changing life cycle consumer demands. ALLOWING SOLAR PENETRATION of the winter sun. investment in good design and innovative built forms when used together with construction techniques can directly reduce costs. Principles that should be considered include – • • • • • • • • INSULATION to minimise heat transfer through the dwelling. and • To provide affordable housing that is WELL INTEGRATED into the neighbourhood and the streetscape. linking urban design. preventing concentrations of low-moderate income earners in disadvantaged locations. helping residents to save money on their living expenses. NORTHERN ASPECT of living rooms and open spaces. built form and construction techniques. SELECTION OF VEGETATION for the climate. • To consider LONG-TERM AFFORDABILITY of housing and incorporate environmentally sustainable design techniques. Broad Principles Sustainable housing Affordable housing designs need to consider the long-term costs in addition to the up-front costs of buying a house. For further information refer to Housing SA Design Guidelines. It is important to always consider new technologies. new and increasing quality building materials. • To establish SAFE AND COMMUNITY-MINDED neighbourhoods. employment and education. and BLOCKING SOLAR PENETRATION of the summer sun through correctly placed eaves. ESD can reduce the demand for resources such as electricity and water. Long-term costs can be reduced through building a house that has environmentally sustainable design (ESD) techniques in place. • To offer a diverse CHOICE OF HOUSING FORMS to suit contemporary families. and other efﬁciencies in construction where possible alongside design initiatives as discussed in this guide.PRINCIPLES OF GOOD DESIGN The planning of affordable housing requires a holistic approach. While masterplanning and lot sizes can indirectly provide a diversity of land sizes and costs. ISOLATION of rooms for heating purposes to conserve energy. 3 .
The angle of eaves on north facing windows should allow winter sun penetration. but block summer sun penetration: A range of ESD principles that may be used: 4 .
and long-term affordability aspects for residents. there is less dependence on private car parking. A concentrated form of medium to high density development around transit-oriented locations (such as train/tram stations and frequent bus routes) and centres improves access for residents. Mixed use areas also provide opportunities for innovative use of public spaces that can be enjoyed and increase the safety and vitality of the area. higher density zones should incorporate affordable housing within walking distance of each transport node: 5 . increases land efﬁciency and increases the vitality and ‘liveability’ of neighbourhoods. increases the viability of public transport services and also enables a greater diversity of dwellings. Principles that should be considered include – • Maximise affordability through locations near CENTRES. TRAM and TRAIN STATIONS and along FREQUENT BUS ROUTES. With an ageing population and busier lifestyles the demand for well located and low maintenance properties presents a market opportunity. Improved access reduces the high costs of private car use as a transport method.Well located development Well located affordable housing development increases both access to services and facilities. and • USABLE OPEN SPACE to balance the recreational needs of residents with smaller living spaces. • MEDIUM TO HIGH DENSITY affordable housing development within walking distance to transport stops or centres. and can ‘trade-off’ conventional housing elements (such as large gardens and excessive off-street parking) for the good access and easy maintenance that higher density living offers. Given the close proximity to public transport. • DIVERSITY IN HOUSING FORM should be encouraged through provisions in the development plan (see housing form section). Spatially. Residents have the ability to choose the type and size of house that suits them.
turning space to accommodate wheelchairs. The ability to increase the size or layout of dwellings through ﬂexible use of space and extensions (such as converting garages into habitable rooms). Principles that should be considered include – • DESIGNING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES such as through wide walkways. including housing people with disabilities and special needs and making homes accessible for relatives and friends with disabilities. single level ﬂoor throughout. it is increasingly important that this can occur within neighbourhoods and that residents can feel safe and competent at home. and also to decrease the size of dwellings (for example through creating two maisonettes from a larger. 4. lower power points and light switches. • PLANNING FOR ADAPTABILITY through benches that can change heights and facilities in bathrooms to attach features such as handrails. Housing needs to be able to adapt to all consumer demands. Modern households can have un-conventional household arrangements (such as people in transition and share housing) and residents need the ﬂexibility to adapt. This can provide an additional source of income through being able to rent out unused rooms. the changing nature of household compositions. 3. Most people prefer to age in place and with the ageing of our population. door frames ﬂush with the ﬂoor. • PLANNING FOR FLEXIBLE HOUSEHOLDS through separate bedrooms. bathrooms and car-parking to suit house-sharing or designs that can be easily converted into separate accommodation arrangements. 6 . and • CONSIDERING INCREASING/DECREASING DWELLING SIZE to accommodate changing housing arrangements. single dwelling). Consider – 1.Adaptable housing Designing for adaptability can improve the long term affordability of a home and should be considered because of the need to suit a diversity of residents. 2. For further information refer to Housing SA Design Guidelines. and adapt to consumer demands as consumer needs change over a lifetime.
Single established properties can be divided to accommodate two affordable dwellings: 7 .
apartments/ ﬂats. and • ROOFS incorporating garaging to reduce scale and impact. All groups have different needs for housing. • PROMOTE DIVERSITY of housing forms such as detached. The different designs and housing forms needed to achieve this diversity can be compatible. These areas are best suited for affordable housing as they provide a diversity of housing forms and as such a complementing affordable housing policy should also be adopted alongside this increased development capacity to ensure affordable housing opportunities are created. Principles that should be considered include – • ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES by providing a diversity of housing forms.REDUCING SET-BACKS so that useable land space is maximised and houses are not isolated from the street . unattractive public spaces (see integrating with the street section). rear-lot developments and shop-top housing. Higher densities are being accommodated across South Australia as they promote sustainable urban design and transport options. row housing. • STREETSCAPE APPEAL through design elements such as setting garages back further than the line of the dwelling. semi-detached. through: . socially inclusive and sustainable communities.INCORPORATING INCREASED DIVERSITY around transit nodes and centres . ensuring windows verandahs and balconies face onto the street (also important for passive safety) and reducing high fences that isolate the dwelling from the street and create unsafe. some beyond the conventional housing form.SUPPORTING 2-3 STOREY HOUSING in designated residential zones.Site Speciﬁc Principles House form A choice of housing should be provided to suit the needs of a diverse population to promote a wider social mix. accessory dwelling units. Diverse housing forms can be compatible and add interest: 8 . mews.
and windows and verandahs facing onto the street: 2 and 3 storey housing can achieve streetscape appeal and can be built to a scale that is pedestrian friendly: 9 .Streetscape appeal can be achieved through low fences.
A staggered built form increases privacy and creates an interesting streetscape: A balance can be found between the old (left) and the new (right) by combining the second storey within the sympathetic pitch of the roof: 10 . • A STAGGERED BUILT FORM achieves private outlooks. colour schemes and building features (like gables etc). and • VEGETATION should be suited to the environment (preferably native) so that minimal maintenance and watering is required. • VEGETATION surrounding new developments should be fast-growing so that dwellings blend into the streetscape and sharp corners are eliminated. Efforts must be made to integrate the design of different forms of dwellings from the street. Principles that should be considered include – • BUILDING HEIGHTS AND PROPORTIONS for affordable housing does not differ more than one storey from surrounding dwellings. minimal overlooking and minimises garage dominated streetscapes. • TECHNIQUES TO ‘FIND A BALANCE’ between new and old dwellings should be used. However the implications for the design of affordable housing are even more important because of the nature of affordable housing (such as smaller homes). so that affordable housing is not identiﬁable from other housing forms.Integrating into the streetscape A key aim for the design of any housing is to achieve an attractive and desirable streetscape .this is no different for affordable housing. This enables residents to feel a part of the neighbourhood and pride in the appearance of their dwelling. such as using complementary materials.
Design to facilitate community The design of neighbourhoods with affordable housing should consider the importance of residents being supported by well connected communities. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is incorporated by achieving an upper and a lower storey of vegetation (no middle storey) to allow for sight lines and by having windows and balconies overlooking public space to increase safety. this often necessitates a higher need for quality open space. Also. Community involvement such as through ‘green thumb’ gardening competitions and art competitions for local public spaces. rather than looking ‘out of place’. Certiﬁed affordable housing developments are given priority in the consideration of applications. achieve a vital environment. Affordable housing developments can also apply to the Planning and Development Fund to retain open space funding within the development. • Consider SPATIAL BOUNDARIES OF OPEN SPACE to ensure a greater sense of ownership over public space. increasing a sense of connectedness and social inclusion. • DETERMINE AND CREATE LAND MARKS for recognition and individualisation of the area and a ‘sense of place’. be inclusive of all community groups and be designed for people. Involvement in the community should be encouraged so that all residents feel they can contribute to the neighbourhood. and • PUBLIC ART AND INVOLVMENT OF THE COMMUNITY (such as local schools and community groups) can build ownership and uniqueness of public spaces. streetscapes need to be well connected so that individual dwellings should contribute to and be a part of the residential landscape. Principles that should be considered include – • PUBLIC OPEN SPACE should incorporate multiple uses. Retain open space contributions within affordable housing developments As affordable housing developments can often mean higher densities. which can also be through the creation of ‘vistas’. and should consider proximity to transport nodes (eg paths should lead to bus stops and train stations)l • PUBLIC OPEN SPACE should be well designed. A Council can make an application to the Planning and Development Fund which is administered by the Minister for Planning for the open space contributions associated with the development to be directed for use within the development. and deﬁnition and enclosure over private space. 11 . • CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (CPTED) should be achieved and may include considerations such as lower storey and upper storey vegetation (no middle storey) to improve sight lines and also outward looking dwellings to provide ‘eyes on the street’.
efﬁcient land usage must be maximised in creating an affordable housing product. orientation and layout (consider guidelines in Good Residential Design SA). with no affordable housing outcomes. 12 . shape. This can be achieved in ways which are sensitive to adjoining developments and community expectations for the area.Reduced side setbacks in square blocks maximise light sourced from the front and rear of the dwelling. and need to be considered in conjunction with detailed policies that deliver these options in appropriate locations such as around transport nodes and centres.Land and lot arrangements As the key component to housing costs. Squarer blocks are more economical than long thin blocks to build on. and • REDUCED FRONT AND SIDE SETBACKS: .Reduced front setbacks where the dwelling is close to a public reserve and where vehicle access and parking is via a rear laneway. b) Land division of 12 lots. Land can be divided (taking advantage of density bonuses) using Torrens titling to achieve affordable housing outcomes that work from a ﬁnancial and design perspective: a) Standard land division of 10 lots. • EFFICIENT BLOCKS SIZES to develop energy efﬁcient building shapes. including consideration of the size. Dwelling siting should be oriented to the sun. . Planning policy guidelines for affordable housing recommend that Councils consider providing differential planning provisions to permit higher dwelling yields in certiﬁed affordable housing developments. Principles that should be considered include – • DENSITY BONUSES or FLEXIBLE YIELDS enable lot sizes to be constructed to achieve market priced affordable housing (refer to Local Government Kit). including 2 additional housing outcomes (with at least one affordable) to provide a mix of lot sizes and diversity of choice.
Principles that should be considered include – • • • • TORRENS TITLING rather than COMMUNITY TITLING used for new affordable housing developments. LAND TITLING ARRANGMENTS should be considered at the beginning of the design stage. compared to the traditional approach of a community title covering a number of dwellings. individually titled blocks is a key element in creating long term affordability.Titling and ownership Consideration should be given to titling that does not compromise an affordable housing product. titling and house design and construction. Using small. • Each owner has full control of use of space and a greater sense of ownership. Creative use of space fosters a sense of ownership over public space. 13 . and CREATE A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP and control of external space around the house. Advantages in using individually titled property rather than a community title include: • Reduced ongoing costs such as corporation fees. and • The timing of maintenance and capital expenditure can be determined taking into account their immediate ﬁnancial position. INTEGRATION between planning of the land division process.
Where dwelling living space is built over garages the impact on the streetscape is reduced since the garage is less dominating in terms of built form: 14 . STREET PARKING for visitors INTEGRATED INTO THE STREETSCAPE using vegetation and permeable surfaces.Parking considerations Parking is an important consideration in the design of affordable housing. Also. However areas that are well accessible (within walking distance of public transport or centres) should have reduced requirement. to reﬂect less dependence on the private car. smaller households may have less parking requirements. and for most suburban residential zones 1 to 2 off-street car parks are usually required. Minimum car parking requirements vary across Development Plans. residents can choose to trade-off features such as reduced car parking for an accessible. Principles that should be considered include – • • • • REDUCED CAR-PARKING REQUIREMENTS in areas close to public transport and centres. UNDERGROUND PARKING should be achieved in large-scale multi-storey developments so that the building is less obtrusive from the streetscape. Residents may ﬁnd long-term affordability beneﬁts in using public transport more attractive than the increasing costs of owning and running a car or be able to lave fewer cars for the household. In this situation. MULTI-STOREY AFFORDABLE HOUSING should have living space above the garage. quality location. This should not be different for affordable housing in most suburban residential zones. A reduced parking requirement can contribute to the affordability of the dwelling through more efﬁcient use of the space available.
Large-scale development sites can also have improved affordability opportunities since they can achieve reduced building costs (such as for transport and materials) through ‘economies of scale’ and more opportunities to provide for different densities and built forms compared to smaller inﬁll site developments. buildings. making it more viable to achieve an affordable product. Both Greenﬁeld and Brownﬁeld sites need to be considered in the development of affordable housing. Each development presents with different challenges. road layout. however savings can be made by making use of established infrastructure and facilities. centres and reserves where the design techniques required to overcome issues associated with overlooking/ overshadowing may be easier to resolve. Brownﬁeld: Site development is more complex than Greenﬁeld sites since there is an existing character to consider. The layout of the site. access. and to ensure that essential needs are ‘planned in’ from the beginning. 15 . and • REDUCING FRONT AND SIDE SET-BACKS. Masterplanning What are the typical characteristics of masterplanning? Masterplanning is a major process of physical regeneration of Greenﬁeld or Brownﬁeld sites. public spaces and infrastructure. more efﬁcient land parcel shapes in terms of ESD and ongoing affordability. such as public transport. the design of the blocks sizes.e. services and facilities. Speciﬁc policy objectives – • DEVELOPMENT IN EXCESS OF TWO STOREYS particularly in locations adjacent to transport.POLICY SCENARIOS Although the principles of affordable housing design apply across all residential development. a few scenarios have been selected to highlight different applications of the design elements. some have the beneﬁt of incorporating affordable housing into the initial masterplanning of a new suburb. • MATERIALS that are COMPATIBLE with the rest of the development. Why integrate affordable housing into a masterplan? Affordable housing needs to be integrated in the vision of a masterplan to ensure its inclusion in the entire development process. Refer to Land and lot arrangement section for more on grid street patterns and reducing set-backs. not concentrated together). While lot sizes alone can achieve some degree of diversity in land prices. and of architectural styles and design features are able to be built without compromising nearby character. Special considerations include: Greenﬁeld: The ability to achieve a new ‘desired character’ since there is minimal existing character to ﬁt into. location and integration with the surrounding neighbourhood. Because of the large scale nature of Masterplanning. it is the ideal opportunity in which to consciously provide for affordable housing including aspects such as access. • GRID STREET PATTERNS allow for greater access and walkability. and assist in public transport planning. involving physical planning of elements including housing. Grid street patterns should be teamed with EFFICIENT BLOCK SIZES. any residential strategy must have a parallel affordable housing strategy to ensure affordable housing is provided. while others need to carefully integrate the design with existing local zoning and character. It is an important process to get the best outcomes from land division. • INTEGRATION of affordable housing opportunities throughout the entire masterplanned region (i.
and • Consider speciﬁc HOUSING TYPES including housing incorporated within existing structures. such as . Double storey shop-top housing integrated into a mixed-use zone: 16 . • MEDIUM DENSITY HOUSING is encouraged. backyards and longer travel times. such as light industry. Living in a mixeduse environment can involve a trade-off between higher density living.Shop-top housing. warehouses.Apartment/ﬂat housing. . Interstate and international examples have shown that housing can coexist well with commercial and other activities. facilities and services over bigger residences. shopping and entertainment that are provided within the mixed use zone.Mixed use zone What are the typical characteristics of a mixed use zone? Mixed use zones incorporate multiple uses.Warehousing living. and . retail. rather the addition of housing can also increase interest and add a human element to the zone. employment. Why integrate affordable housing? Long term affordability aspects are improved for residents since less dependence is needed on transport (particularly private car use) when housing is located within walking distance of services and facilities. Affordable housing is easily integrated into mixed uses since the zone already incorporates a diversity of building forms. particularly after hours. . ofﬁces. • INTEGRATION with surrounding character of mixed use zone. Speciﬁc policy objectives – • Affordable housing in areas where mixed uses are COMPATIBLE with residential living and residents have ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT. and community facilities. easy access to shopping. This can occur without detrimental consequences on the streetscape.Converted factories or other appropriate facilities.
Speciﬁc points to consider – • The shop needs to be suitable for a residential dwelling above (i.e. Ongoing affordability is also achieved through proximity to services and employment. Smaller developments of shop-top housing should be considered where land ownership is fragmented. consider if the stairs will be located at the front/side/rear of the shop). which is reﬂective of the needs of modern families. It provides opportunities to ‘work from home’ or in close proximity to home. services and facilities. does not emit fumes. Multi-level shop-top housing: 17 .e. single residential level above shops) or can be a multi-storey development (with ofﬁces in between retail and housing). or can also be a deliberate attempt to create a retail/housing development including affordable housing from the initial stages of a new development. is not noisy out of business hours).e. It can be either small scale (i. etc) as advertising needs to be sympathetic to a residential environment. Why is shop-top housing affordable? Since the land footprint needed for the dwelling is shared with other land uses including other dwellings and businesses.EXAMPLE: SHOP-TOP HOUSING What is shop-top housing? Shop-top housing is residential development above shops. Shop-top housing can be an addition above an existing shop. • Access to the dwelling/s need to be considered (i. colour. • Restrictions on advertising (size. and • Balconies as private open space. a more affordable product can be achieved. • The building is within access to public transport. and general land efﬁciency. • Design of dwelling/s should consider existing building in addition to surrounding neighbourhood character. • The building is structurally able to support upper storey additions. Shop-top housing also increases the revitalisation of under-utilised spaces.
and • ‘Multi-unit’ style housing. 18 . unmaintainable backyards reduces responsibilities and burdens and is a form of increasing funds. this suits lifestyles where people work more and have less free time to live in homes with smaller and more easily maintainable private open space. Although a character policy may restrict the nature of the development. Selling off large. This is important for using land more efﬁciently. Speciﬁc policy objectives – Diversity in housing stock can be achieved without compromising the desired character of the area through the use of good design principles in house design. • Accessory dwellings at the rear of existing dwellings (and taking advantage of rear-lane access where possible. Affordable housing options encourage the use of the space available. as well as created a greater sense of community and diversity. such as those wanting to ‘age in place’ and remain living in their current dwellings after retirement. Also.Character zone What are the typical characteristics of a character zone? Character zones have a cultural heritage value (such as built or environmental character). Housing policy in character zones is generally restrictive and limits what can be developed to achieve the desired character outcome for the zone. Traditional housing on large lots often prohibits options for affordable housing and housing diversity because of the high market prices associated with land size. Speciﬁc housing forms for character zones may include – • Conversion of detached housing into maisonettes (maintains house appearance from street). encouraged through the Development Plan. Why integrate affordable housing? Sustainable communities can be built by encouraging a diverse population to live in a neighbourhood. • Divisions on corner blocks. An option of reduced private open space is sought by some consumer groups. Affordable housing is a method of enabling diversity through an increased range of housing types and sizes. it is important to remember that diversity in housing forms and sizes can still be achieved. and the policy objectives will aim to preserve or enhance this value. Often in areas where a block has been subdivided has meant that the space available such as large front yards that were rarely used and public space are better utilised for recreation and bringing people into the street and public realm.
• ADUs may be suitable on large blocks. and are an option for ageing in place. They also assist extended families. Speciﬁc points to consider – • ADUs can be inclusive of any person. Advantages of using ADUs • Developments of ADUs can be made within any suburb. rather than as a ‘dependant’ unit to create a favourable policy environment.EXAMPLE: ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUS) What are ADUs? Accessory Dwelling Units (commonly known as granny-ﬂats) are self-contained dwellings (either detached or attached) and are situated on the same lot as the primary dwelling. How can ADUs be affordable? • ADUs can provide a source of rent for the owner as well as an affordable rental opportunity for tenants. • ADUs are a discreet option with minimal impacts as they are less visible from the street than other forms of housing development. ADUs account for 20% of private rental accommodation. colours and window size can be reﬂected in the ADU: 19 . Elements of the primary dwelling such as roof pitch. and • In Canada. and • ADUs are not usually visible from street and therefore have limited impact on streetscape/ neighbourhood character.
services and facilities. affordable housing will integrate well with other smaller.Medium to high density transit zone What are the typical characteristics of a medium density transit zone? Transit-oriented development is well connected and easily accessible. Speciﬁc policy objectives – • Increase density in zone through increased building height and smaller land division capabilities. and consider: . Height limitations can apply around the edge of a medium density zone to provide a softer balance between higher and the lower surrounding densities. and • Integrate affordable dwellings within high density residential complexes. colour and materials of surrounding development. Located surrounding a tram or train station adjacent to public open space or a neighbourhood/district centre. row housing. Dependence on a private vehicle is reduced when the location is well located for ease of access to education. Why integrate affordable housing? It is important to locate affordable housing in transit zones because of the importance of long-term affordability.‘Trade-offs’ such as smaller balconies and less parking space to achieve an affordable product. and . Mews dwellings can complement surrounding dwellings when set-backs allow for landscaping and balconies face the street: 20 . Contemporary house designs can be desirable. It is designed for the pedestrian and cyclist to have direct routes to the transit core and provides fast and frequent public transport (improved services can come as a result of improved passenger numbers in higher density living). • Improve urban design for pedestrian and cycle access and amenity. a transit zone provides higher density living to encourage strong links between education. • Consider alternative forms of dwellings including attached housing. employment. employment. Some mix of uses (both vertically and horizontally) is often considered. higher density apartment-style dwellings.Built form and both vertical and horizontal integration of affordable dwellings. Also. Also. variability within house designs is permitted however with consideration to design. apartments/ﬂats and multi-unit dwellings. It is more sensible to accommodate affordable housing within higher density residential zones because development plans are more likely to accommodate elements like reducing set-backs and allowing multiple storeys. services and facilities. and development achieves multiplestoreys.
How can mews apartments improve affordability? In mews dwellings. Mews have been particularly popular as student housing. 21 .EXAMPLE: MEWS APARTMENTS What are mews apartments? Mews apartments are considered a form of affordable housing. services and facilities that are easy maintenance. whereby the ‘land footprint’ of the dwelling is only the car-park space. Advantages of mews apartments Smaller dwellings provide the option for consumer groups such as singles and couples (a growing population demographic) to access affordable housing. such as young people and retirees. Also. and balconies should be facing the street to improve streetscape. Speciﬁc points to consider – • The mews dwelling will not suit everyone. Mews housing should in most cases be able to achieve a market price for affordable housing. However they provide an affordable option for people seeking low maintenance housing. all living space is a second (or higher storey) over another dwelling or other car-parking space. Mews dwellings increase the diversity of housing. Setbacks should allow for landscaping space. • Careful design considerations should be in place especially since the primary street frontage is a garage. The typical demographic for this style of accommodation may be undergoing changes in life and would usually have trouble ﬁnding housing in the market at an affordable price. the only ‘land footprint’ is the car-park space. enabling people to have a choice between ‘trading-off’ large backyards and large dwellings for smaller well located dwellings close to transport. the dwelling itself is small. which is appealing for some markets. only 1 or 2 bedrooms. As land values attribute to the majority of the cost of housing the dwelling becomes an affordable product. and the private open space consists of a balcony.
reducing side set-backs improves site utilisation as open space on adjoining properties becomes more private. In many residential areas. and provides a more deﬁned street edge. Speciﬁc points to consider – • Consideration of design techniques (such as materials. How can reduced front and side set-backs improve affordability? Reducing the front and side set-backs will directly inﬂuence the provision of an affordable product since the land parcel size can be reduced. In South Australia. 22 . In particular. Reducing the front set-back encourages connections with the street. Speciﬁc policy considerations – In residential zones. In the last 50 years. Development Plans can make direct provisions for affordable housing. • Row housing. Development Plans should aim to encourage a diversity of dwelling types. increasing the affordability of a product. Refer to Land and lot arrangements section for more information. increases passive safety (‘eyes on the street’ through windows and balconies). For example. This would allow affordable housing to better provide for changing household needs. so that various provisions from car-parking to density enable affordable housing to be created at market price. styles of housing. • Semi-detached dwellings. Residential zones should aim to create an enabling policy environment for affordable housing to increase the diversity of housing stock and to increase the options available for those looking to rent/buy an affordable property. Reducing side set-backs enable dwellings to be built closer to or along the boundary line. but homes on average have increased in size. housing products can be built and sold at an affordable market price (without public ﬁnancial assistance) if considerations are given in the Development Plan. having a reduced front set-back will decrease the depth of the block. consisting of conventional housing forms (detached dwellings on large blocks) with some instances of medium density zones. • Dual occupancy. some blocks have become smaller.Residential zone What are the typical characteristics of this zone? Residential zones are typically high amenity locations that provide a safe environment for housing. colours) needs to be undertaken even when speciﬁc building forms (such as reduced set-backs) have been decided. In some cases. particularly more recently with ‘courtyard living’. EXAMPLE: REDUCING FRONT AND SIDE SET-BACKS What are reduced front and side set-backs? Reduced front and side set-backs enable increased densities as less land is needed for single land parcels. this may mean achieving a more compact environment through inﬁll and refurbishment. and the space between the house and fence which is often under-used is removed.(refer to the Local Government Affordable Housing Resource Kit). these are typically low density zones. This will reduce up-front land costs. Why integrate affordable housing in residential zones? Affordable housing needs to be integrated into residential zones because a diversity of housing stock is needed to accommodate an increasingly diverse population. thus decreasing the total land area proportionately. including: • Attached dwellings. In addition to promoting general residential diversity.
Reducing setbacks can complement/create character in a street: Reduced setbacks can also be used with multiple storey house designs: 23 .
designing and developing neighbourhoods and homes. The Kit is available from www.au/affordable For other information on good design • Adopt-a-Station TransAdelaide – a program which initiates community involvement and pride around train stations.sa.planning.com. Available from http://www. CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) explores 20 questions for assessing the quality of design in housing. to the WHY and HOW to achieve good design in affordable housing from the US.org. It captures some of the latest ideas in housing policies.cabe.gov.au/community/adopt_station. outlines the affordable housing planning framework and provides a check list of potential Council strategies. roads parking and pedestrianisation.housing.housing. building and assessing proposals for affordable housing.au/partnerships/affordable/ publications/design_guidelines.asp?swId=4&pgId=1664 • Affordable Housing Design Guidelines created by the Queensland Government were produced to facilitate the construction of new.org/ • Design matters. au/publications/432p. The website is www. Available from http://www.pdf • Design Guidelines for Sustainable Housing & Liveable Neighbourhoods (Housing SA) – capture existing corporate knowledge and design philosophy to provide guidance on the shape and form of future housing. Delivering great places to live – from the US.au/go/ Understanding-Densities • Affordable Housing Design Advisor – provides advice from the WHAT. a design checklist an a affordable housing gallery. Best practices in affordable housing – outlines a number of quality design in affordable housing projects and design objectives from the US.cabe. A guide for clients – from the US.sa.sa. Building for life.pdf 24 .qld.gov. Available from http://www. they can be adapted and used in the design of affordable housing. design and construction.housing. and environment and For more information on design guidelines • Good Residential Design SA – a resource for planning.gov. covering the topics of character. transadelaide. CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) provides advice based on experience of creating successful masterplans. Available from http://www.gov. well designed and well located affordable housing.aspx?contentitemid=451 • Understanding Residential Densities Handbook – developed by Planning SA to demonstrate a variety of styles in housing within the four categories of residential densities deﬁned by the Planning Strategy. providing a consistent development model and a set of performance-based design guidelines. uk/AssetLibrary/9350. au/affordable • Local Government Affordable Housing Resource Kit – assists Local Governments to identify critical housing issues in their community and to develop effective local responses that are supported by regional and state wide planning and investment.gov.sa. uk/default. The Design Guidelines are intended for stakeholders engaged in planning.gov.htm • Creating Successful Masterplans. roads parking and pedestrianisation. Available from http://www. Available at http://www. Also includes a section on green housing.housingtrust.govt. Although these guidelines were created principally for the development of social housing. available at http://dataserver. CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) explores 20 questions for assessing the quality of design in housing.nz/hnzc/web/aboutus/our-publications/design-guidelines.htm • Housing New Zealand Design Guidelines – describes the housing process from start to ﬁnish.edu/aa/cdc/AHDC/ website/ • Building for life. design and construction.hnzc.htm community. from describing masterplanning through to implementation. and environment and community. and are available from http:// www. available from http://www.designadvisor.au/text/text.REFERENCES For further information • The Affordable Housing Innovations Unit website – provides information on work and current progress and resources. Delivering great places to live – from the US.org.planning. sa. designing. covering the topics of character. Available from http:// www.uic.