The high-profile site of the former Downer Primary School is slated to be transformed by CHC following the submission of a development application for an integrated mix of apartments, townhouses and independent seniors living.
The inner north block, which has had several failed attempts at redevelopment over the past 20 years, will be developed to include 37 townhouses, 123 apartments and 120 dwellings for seniors.
The 32,000sqm site will also include a shared open space designed to promote active and healthy living.
The urban renewal project aims to address the diverse needs of people living in Canberra’s Inner North and to assist in the rejuvenation of both the Downer shops, which have undergone recent upgrades, and the suburb at large.
Kim Sinclair, CEO of CHC, says the company is excited to be progressing the project.
Sinclair says CHC’s focus is on “providing affordable and attainable residences for rent. We do this by undertaking a range of projects, some of which are sold to enable CHC to independently and sustainably increase our rental portfolio”.
“This development achieves exactly that, providing apartments close to the city for young professionals, townhouses for downsizers and young families, and purpose-built dwellings to promote independent seniors living,” she says.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure that the new precinct is well integrated with the existing suburb. We have included a number of entry points and laneways and the masterplan has been designed with the intention of complementing the surrounding area.”
CHC undertook a thorough and successful community consultation process, which was conducted to ensure the development strikes a balance between meeting the requirements of home buyers, enhancing the current lifestyle and streetscape enjoyed by the Downer community, and ensuring the development is financially viable for the non-for-profit housing company.
Downer Community Association’s (DCA) Miles Boak says the consultation process has been “exemplary”, explaining that DCA has been “engaged with the design for the past two years, and the company have really listened, compromised, and made many amendments”.
Boak says DCA pushed for a greater balance of townhouses to apartments, accessible community spaces, assisted seniors living accommodation, and a strong integration between the development and the Downer shops.
As to next steps, Sinclair says “once we’ve gone through the standard application process, once builders and contractors are negotiated they will confirm price lists, then go to a Downer pre-release for existing residents”.
For more information, visit chcaustralia.com. au/project/downer
*This article was published in the Canberra Weekly (edition 06/04/17) and was written by Denholm Samaras.
Developed by the ACT government and available to purchase through CHC, the Land Rent Scheme allows you to buy a new home, while renting the land. This dramatically reduces your upfront costs because you only need a loan for the value of your house.
The flexibility of the scheme means you can obtain a mortgage to purchase the land component of your property at any time that suits you and your budget.
Yes! When you purchase a land rent property, you own the rights to the land and property so you have the same rights as you would under the traditional house and land purchasing arrangement.
Land rent payments are calculated at 2 per cent of the unimproved value of your land (the land’s value before construction of your home). For example, if the unimproved value of the land is $200,000, your land rent would be $4000 per year. Land rent is charged quarterly; in this case, it would be $1000 every three months.
CHC’s land rent properties require proof of eligibility. To proceed with a purchase you must meet each of the criteria below.
Your annual gross household income cannot exceed the income threshold of $160,000 (this may increase to reflect the number of dependent children you have). You do not currently own a property. At least one purchaser of the property will reside in the property when completed. In addition to the above criteria, you will also need to complete the ACT government’s CIT Land Rent Course, which CHC can assist you with arranging to complete.
If you are a first-home buyer, it is more than likely that you will also be eligible to obtain the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) to assist in purchasing your land rent property. While you will need to check on your individual eligibility to apply for the grant, there are properties available for purchase from CHC, which sit below the specified threshold of $750,000.
There are also properties available which are priced at or below the ACT government’s Home Buyer Concession Scheme threshold of $470,000, which means you may also be eligible for a stamp duty concession.
CHC is an official provider of the Land Rent Scheme.
The benefit of purchasing a property from CHC is that land rent is only payable after settlement. This means there will be no land rent costs during the construction phase so you will not need to worry about balancing your current housing costs with land rent payments.
CHC are the land rent experts and can offer support and guidance and answer any questions you have to assist in understanding your first home purchase.
CHC has upcoming land rent properties available in Moncrieff, which will be followed by a future release in Throsby – register now.