Innovative Property Development Model by Nightingale Aims to Tackle Australia’s Housing Crisis - Property Inc

Innovative Property Development Model by Nightingale Aims to Tackle Australia’s Housing Crisis

An unconventional approach by property developer Nightingale may hold the key to addressing Australia’s persistent housing crisis. Nightingale, a not-for-profit developer, has successfully completed 17 apartment complexes and sold them at cost price, without seeking profit, as stated by Dan McKenna, the organization’s CEO. This model prioritizes sustainability, affordability, and community focus in its projects, primarily across Greater Melbourne.

Nightingale’s approach has garnered the attention of experts and officials alike. “Nightingale is a fantastic example of an alternative housing approach,” noted Professor Sebastian Pfautsch, an urban planning and management expert at Western Sydney University. He further emphasized the potential of this model to significantly impact the ongoing housing issues by offering affordable and sustainable solutions .

The developer uses a public ballot system to sell its homes, ensuring fairness and accessibility. Vulnerable community members, including those living with disabilities and key community contributors such as teachers and nurses, are given priority in these ballots. Furthermore, Nightingale allocates 20% of apartments in each building to community housing providers, offering them at reduced rates to those in need .

The projects include ‘Teilhaus’ units—compact homes with efficient designs and communal facilities like shared laundries and bathhouses—which are sold at significantly lower prices, around $300,000. This design is aimed at helping Australians transition from renting to owning their homes. “These aren’t the cheaply made investor units that start to fall apart after five minutes. We want to build homes that people can live in for decades, really,” McKenna explained .

Nightingale’s success is also evident in its recent expansion outside Victoria, with new projects in Fremantle and planning phases in Adelaide, as well as a groundbreaking build-to-rent project in Sydney, developed in partnership with a charity on church-owned land. This project, which houses 54 units in Marrickville, was celebrated by Housing Minister Rose Jackson, who noted the positive impact of such collaborative efforts .

The increasing interest in Nightingale’s ballots indicates a growing demand for such innovative housing solutions, further proving the model’s potential scalability. “If this approach was scaled up, there’s potential to make a big difference,” McKenna asserted, expressing a vision for a future where such community-focused development practices become the norm .


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