12. Financial Feasability
The financial viability of this project is dependent on a rural lot under single ownership being self -sufficient in energy, water, waste and food.
To go through an onerous rezoning process and the imposition of substantial Section 94 council contributions or subdivision conditions would make this concept uneconomic for the affordable rentals outlined.
Planning regulations do not encourage or allow genuine affordable housing. Many regulations are mutually exclusive thus prohibiting the initiative of low cost housing which needs to be detached from government control and real estate speculation in order to meet the genuine needs of the many people marginalised by these systems.
Separate titles for individual housing lots would allow manipulation by the real estate market which would make them unaffordable for low income families
The rental income at the levels outlined would allow the project cost to be paid out in about ten years and the non-profit organisation owning and managing the housing community could then channel the substantial income into other projects.
LOCAL COUNCIL INFLUENCE
It would be unreasonable for Council to charge rates for water, garbage and services when these are all provided within the site and there is no dependency on external infrastructure services.
The people renting the houses would be fully responsible for all the services within the site and there would be no drain on Council resources and other service supply authorities.
Council is able to make concessions under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) (SEPP) which overrides their Development Control Plan (DCP) and Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
There is no need for Council or any service authority to impose any conditions for the services which are all self-sufficient and contained within the site.
Any connection of the site services infrastructure with external suburban services could be negotiated under a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) based on a feed-in tariff from the site services that balances inputs and outputs with any neighbourhood services.
It is envisaged that this would be a positive supply available to increase the efficiency for neighbourhood use rather than being a demand on external services.
Council input is therefore not necessary as they only have to allow this project to happen without any onerous controls to give a positive result which would benefit them and reduce the social and economic problems associated with affordable housing.
The imposition of conflicting planning controls would only have a negative effect and negate the significant positive impacts from this proposal.
THE SIMPLE PROCESS
The property market and political system is all about extracting money into their separate agendas which is then reflected in real estate market prices to pay for all the parties involved in the development process which then makes it unaffordable for low income people.
The simple process that can make this concept affordable is to;
- Purchase the rural lot under one ownership.
- Provide all the infrastructure services to be self-sufficient within the site.
- Build small houses based on prefabricated modular designs with economies of scale and mass production techniques.
- Involve all residents in running their own community and being responsible for everything within the site.
- Keep all houses under common ownership with only rental tenure providing a permanent long term rental income for the community.
- Employ individual experts in energy, water, waste and food to guide, manage, oversee and train the pool of semi-skilled labour input from the residents.
- Use the voluntary labour pool from residents to offset maintenance and administration expenses.
- Take advantage of the goods and services produced by the resident community.
The Master Plan outlined is very profitable but unless all these profits are ploughed back into the community it will not be affordable.
The government definition of affordable housing is not affordable.
This concept shows that real affordability is possible through the initiative of individuals working together to support each other without the disincentives and manipulations of government controls and real estate speculation.