Taking Prompt Action
The Northern Territory (NT) in Australia faces a major challenge with respect to housing across all segments of the housing market. The pressures include:
- Increasing housing stress
- Rising housing demand from clients with complex needs
- The need for remote housing to reduce overcrowding
- Demand generated by significant population growth and economic development
The NT government established a cross-government taskforce to develop a strategy to address these issues. They set the deadline to a tight timeframe of nine weeks so that they could incorporate the Territory Housing Strategy in a presentation delivered to Cabinet in early December 2008.
We assisted the taskforce to develop the strategy within the required timeframe.
Roadmap to Meet Housing Demand
We used a market segmentation approach to develop the NT Housing Strategy. This involved a demand and supply analysis to understand the extent of housing need based on the target groups identified in the statement of objectives. We evaluated various market responses to determine the most effective strategies to meet future demand. We also assessed the financial implications based on existing costs from Territory Housing and other housing providers.
In parallel to developing the Strategy, the NT Government asked us to identify opportunities for demonstration projects that would deliver affordable housing in the short term. Our approach towards the demonstration projects included:
- Reviewing affordable housing models and planning levers
- Assessing a several Territory government sites in Darwin and Alice Springs to identify their potential for demonstration projects
- Preparing development options and master plans to optimise yield, value and affordable housing
- Undertaking financial modelling to assess viability
In December 2008, the NT Cabinet endorsed the recommendations of the NT Housing Strategy. Cabinet directed the NT Government to develop cross-agency plans to implement the Strategy. In early February 2009, NT Cabinet reviewed and endorsed these implementation plans. The NT Government is proceeding to implement the plans on this basis.