An innovative approach to spurring affordable housing development is now ready to go national, according to the developers.
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They’re calling on the government to devote federal funds in the next budget to expand the reach of a software solution to managing an extremely complex subsector of home building.
Having united on the project in 2022, digital property settlement provider PEXA and the non-profit organisation Housing All Australians (HAA) have provided insight into the progress of their Australian-first affordable housing register through PEXA’s pre-budget submission.
The duo are working to create the database that will serve as a centralised platform and repository for recording all affordable housing commitments, while providing governments with the ability to monitor the compliance of all stakeholders through the process.
The register will track the commitments of developers, investors, property owners and tenants, ensuring they uphold their obligations, such as the committed period of below-market rent, guaranteeing the long-term affordability of the housing created.
It’s an integral part of HAA’s Progressive Residential Affordability Development Solution (PRADS), which looks to create affordable housing without any government subsidy or funding by unlocking additional value for developers in the form of density or rezoning perks in exchange for greater dedicated affordable housing.
The PRADS Register that the partnership created has been rolled out in several Victorian municipalities, with a prototype database having been successfully trialled against historical data from the City of Port Phillip.
The duo believe that the tool could go a long way to addressing inefficiencies that delay the production of affordable housing or cause affordable dwellings to slip through compliance cracks.
PEXA, which is a pro-bono partner in the arrangement, is now calling on the federal government to contribute $5.2 million to HAA to accelerate the development of the PRADS Register, with specific funding allocations to develop a national pilot, evaluate its success, log historical data, and deliver a working model to all 537 councils nationally with appropriate training and support.
The firm noted that the government should involve itself in ensuring that the correct regulatory framework exists for the register’s operation.
The proptech also made four additional recommendations in its budget submission, pushing the government on issues related to cyber security awareness of small businesses, equity of access to digital transaction technologies in Australia’s property markets, and the national rollout of a digital ID.
PEXA CEO, Glenn King, described the firm’s recommendations as “carefully designed to provide maximum benefit to government and the whole community. They can commence immediately and at low cost to government”.
Stressing the importance of using all avenues to address the short supply of long-term accommodation across the country, Mr King added:
“Access to affordable, suitable housing is now the single most urgent social and economic policy problem for Australians. At a national level, the housing shortage has significant negative impacts on economic mobility, participation, equity and productivity.”
PEXA and HAA would like to see a national PRADS Register rolled out over the next four years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.
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