Think Tank generates ideas for affordable housing

April 13th, 2016

Our Affordable Housing Think Tank on 8 April 2016 was a success – bringing out a wealth of ideas from an impressive gathering of industry, government, research and community experts.

The objective of the Think Tank was to generate shared understanding of the issues and to identify bold and innovative ideas for the delivery of affordable housing locally, and it did!

A range of ideas were discussed and broad agreement reached, that to deliver affordable housing that best meets the diversity of societal needs, the Ginninderra project should:

  • Explore innovative finance and governance models
  • Adopt and promote innovative sustainability technologies that also improve affordability by reducing the cost of living
  • Commit to ‘place-making’ and to trialing and assessing a variety of approaches to the provision of affordable housing within the site
  • Identify approaches to community consultation and engagement that will support the project aims and involve low and moderate income earners
  • Develop a plan for the site that articulates a clear vision and aspirations

Thirty experts from the housing sector, ACT and federal government agencies, community organisations and CSIRO research teams took part in the Think Tank that will help inform a strategy for affordable housing in the Ginninderra project.

Think Tank participants suggested that planning and design should aim to ensure the site provides diverse housing types, meets the needs of diverse households, and in particular provides housing that is affordable to people and households across all income levels. Ideas supporting such multi-level affordable housing included:

  • Considering the specific needs of particular cohorts identified as requiring affordable housing
  • Providing a mix of higher and lower density housing on the site
  • Providing a mix not only of different tenure types, household types and housing types, but also diverse funding mechanisms and governance structures to meet the needs of a differentiated market and to encourage diversity in the site
  • Considering options to cross-subsidise affordable housing within the development
  • Designing housing for the life course, so that homes can readily respond to changing household needs and composition
  • Investigating investment sources including social impact bonds and superannuation
  • Exploring ways of ensuring that housing remains affordable into the future

These ideas and those generated through further research and community engagement will be tested and evaluated to inform a living strategy document that guides CSIRO’s approach to affordable housing as a key element to the overall development of the site.

CSIRO is aspiring to an overall design that embraces the ideas of the community and considers energy, water, emissions, waste, economic activity, health and wellbeing, and the environment – as well as integrating affordable housing.

CSIRO remains committed to working with stakeholders to push the frontiers of sustainable and affordable urban design.


  1. Include with the above ideas a reduction in the cost of the land – then land/house packages are a lot more affordable!

    1. Will annual rates & charges for supply of essential services be considered in plans to reduce the cost of living.

      1. Rates and charges for essential services are the domain of the authorities that administer them – so we really cannot control these. However, part of our vision for affordability and sustainability is to reduce those costs through renewable energy, innovative water, power and resource saving measures and recycling approaches.

  2. Has CSIRO set up a plan to release the land to public?

    1. Thank you for your enquiry regarding the CSIRO Ginninderra Project. We are still going through the initial land use amendments with the NCA. If successful, a joint venture partner will be sought and detailed planning may begin. Therefore land release is still some time away, likely not until approximately 2019/20. This website will continue to provide updates on the project’s progress.

  3. My view is that we have enough family homes and the majority of them are next to schools etc. The problem we have is that a lot of them are filled with old people. These houses were never designed for old people to live in.
    We need to build retirement complexes to attract the oldies out of their homes.
    The problem with leaving old people in their existing homes is that the buildings will deteriate

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