SHAC and Access Housing to create first new co-housing site in WA for 15 years.

This week Fremantle-based artistic cooperative Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives (SHAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with  Access Housing this to construct 12 affordable rental dwellings within LandCorp’s new White Gum Valley Kim Beazley former school site.The aim is to provide affordable housing for artists who work in the well-recognised cultural and artistic centre of Fremantle but have been progressively priced out of the area’s housing market.

Access Housing was approached by SHAC to assist with its proposal to LandCorp. Access Housing agreed to purchase the site and develop the residential dwellings, which will be rented to SHAC members at affordable rental prices upon completion of construction.

Access Housing was successful in securing National Rental Affordability Scheme incentives for the development, which will assist the artists to maintain affordable rents during their tenancy.

“With Access Housing having its traditional roots in Fremantle, we saw a great opportunity to partner with people who are active in the cultural and artistic fabric that the city is renowned for,” Access Housing General Manager – Property Assets Su Groome said.

“Fremantle is becoming beyond the reach of low to moderate income earners looking to buy or rent in the area, which was the catalyst for SHAC approaching us to assist with this project. Median house prices in Fremantle are now in excess of $800,000 and apartment units are also approximately $80,000 more expensive than the metro average. This reality certainly impedes on the ability for local artists to reside, and ultimately remain, in the Fremantle area without assistance from affordable housing providers like Access Housing and willing developers like LandCorp.”

Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives was established by professional artists based in and around Fremantle to meet a growing need for affordable housing within the creative community.

SHAC Chair, Fiona Gavino gave to following short speech that I thought was worth relaying here:

As Chair of SHAC I feel privilege to be representing such a group of dedicated and passionate people. It has been a steady journey of learning, discovery and commitment over the last 6 years. Thanks to the vision and foresight of our supporters – Landcorp, Access Housing, the City of Fremantle and now Donaldson and Warn we are now closer to reaching our destination.

The completion of this project will see the first new co-housing site established in Western Australia in 15 years. In this time of discussion around housing, affordability, urban in-fill and sustainability this housing development will demonstrate a new way forward.

It is SHAC’s hope as a creative community that this development can be part of a vision that will benefit all of Western Australia.”

The SHAC development will form part of a diverse range of housing types and living options within LandCorp’s White Gum Valley estate that will include apartments, maisonettes and single homes.

Donaldson and Warn have been appointed as SHAC project architects.

White Gum Valley Aerial West

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

2 Responses to SHAC and Access Housing to create first new co-housing site in WA for 15 years.

  1. diana ryan says:

    Hi Brad

    Its important to note that the residents of White Gum Valley expressed their desire to Landcorp that state housing not be included as part of this new development – and this is not a trend I hope anyone wants to see gain more traction in more communities, generally speaking, especially since the majority of social housing is open tenancy, allowing occupancy for anyone who needs it.

    Given this is a NRAS project I assume the rents will still be quite high, but levied at 20% below market rate, so presumably the artists etc will need to be financially successful in their work to meet the rent required.

    The other important point to note is this project would not have been possible without the Rudd Govt’s funding of the NRAS, as the state govt contributed to Pinakarri.

    It appears at this stage that govt funding will continue to be necessary for co-housing, and housing that those on low to medium incomes only can afford – unless the Committee for Perth/Freo project, for instance, works to identify new ways for the private sector to fund these needs.

  2. diana ryan says:

    It’s important to note that the residents of White Gum Valley expressed their desire to Landcorp that state housing not be included as part of this new development – and this is not a trend I hope anyone wants to see gain more traction in more communities, generally speaking, especially since the majority of social housing is open tenancy, allowing occupancy for anyone who needs it.

    Given this is a (now ended) National Rental Affordability Scheme project I assume the rents will still be quite high, but levied at 20% below market rate, so presumably the artists etc will need to be financially successful in their work to meet their rent obligations.

    The other important point to note is this project would not have been possible without the Rudd Govt’s funding of the NRAS, as the state govt contributed to Pinakarri.

    It appears at this stage that govt funding will continue to be necessary for co-housing, and housing that those on low to medium incomes only can afford – unless the Committee for Perth/Freo project, for instance, works to identify new ways for the private sector to fund these needs

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