Project status: Closed


How you had YourSay:

The engagement process for the Housing Choices project involved multiple stages. The first stage was the release of a discussion paper. Community members provided feedback on this paper through workshops, submissions, an online survey and drop-in kiosks.

The outcome of this engagement was provided to the Collaboration Hub, a randomly selected group of 38 individuals that represented a broad cross-section of the Canberra community. The Collaboration Hub was a deliberative process that brought together these citizens to discuss, deliberate and receive information on housing choices.

The outcome was a report of 13 recommendations for housing choices in Canberra that was presented to the Minister for Planning and Land Management in July 2018.

A graphic image of the engagement process for the Housing Choices project that is written in the next above.

What we looked at:

The Housing Choices project looked at how we can better meet the housing needs of our residents. It aimed to bring together a broad range of ideas and opinions to reach a consensus that would guide the future planning of our city.

How we used your views:

The ACT Government has agreed in-principle to all of the Collaboration Hub recommendations.

Members of the Collaboration Hub and Stakeholder Reference Group have worked with planning staff to develop the implementation of recommendations 5,7 and 12, which involve: introducing mandatory standards for proportion of soft landscaping and plantable area in RZ3 to RZ5; increasing the mix of dwelling sizes and housing types in all residential zones; and considering whether to allow dual occupancy developments with separate title in RZ1.

The Government is implementing recommendations of the housing choices collaboration hub. Recommendations are currently being implemented through draft variations to the Territory Plan (DV). Implementation of recommendation 5 to introduce mandatory standards for the proportion of soft landscaping and plantable area in residential zones is being considered through DV369 – Living Infrastructure in Residential Zones. Implementation of recommendation 7 to include new provisions for boarding houses and co-housing is being considered through DV365 – Boarding Houses and Co-Housing. Demonstration housing projects are also being progressed. Information on these projects is available at

Next steps:

A review of the ACT planning system, including the Territory Plan, began in 2019. A community engagement process will be undertaken as part of this ACT Planning System Review and Reform project in 2021.

The ACT Government is looking more strategically at the city and future housing needs for all Canberrans through the ACT Planning System Review and Reform project and implementation of the ACT Planning Strategy (2018). Appropriate land uses for different zones will be considered to make sure they protect the valued character of parts of the city, and meet contemporary community and industry needs and expectations. This will provide the context for consideration of dual occupancy policies and subdivision of blocks in the future.

The Collaboration Hub


The Collaboration Hub launched on Saturday 5 May 2018. It explored issues such as what zoning should allow, what provisions and principles do Canberra’s agree as important to deliver the housing we want and plan for future needs. To find out more about the issues, challenges and solutions the Collaboration Hub explored, take a look at the the Information Kit that was provided to all participants prior to the first meeting.

Invitations were sent in March to a random sample of approximately 15,000 residents. These were sent to physical addresses so as to not discriminate between those who own or rent their property.

Recruitment and selection has been managed by newDemocracy Foundation independently from Government. The Collaboration Hub Process Design provides further detail.

The process

During five in-depth sessions from May to July 2018, Collaboration Hub members were immersed in all aspects of planning and development in the ACT. They were provided with access to a range of experts from across industry and government. They discussed and deliberated on ideas, issues and opportunities. At the end of the journey, the Collaboration Hub presented a recommendations report to the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman, in response to the following question:

Canberra is changing – and there are many different ways our housing needs can be met.

What do we need to do?

The final session of the Housing Choices Collaboration Hub was held on Saturday 28 July 2018.

The final day involved a range of activities where participants finalised their recommendations for the report. After lunch, a closed session was held with participants around the Demonstration Housing selection criteria. Due to the confidential nature of the content, observers were asked to step out during this activity.

Mick Gentleman MLA, Minister for Planning and Land Management was presented with the final recommendations report.

In September 2018, the ACT Government agreed in-principle to the 13 recommendations on housing choices provided by the Collaboration Hub deliberative democracy process. View the Government response here.

Collaboration Hub - Day 1 - Saturday 5 May 2018

Housing Choices Collaboration Hub Day 1

Collaboration Hub - Day 2 - Saturday 26 May

We had a full agenda on day 2. A highlight from the day was participants heard from the following industry representatives and their response to the question:

Canberra is changing – and there are many different ways our housing needs can be met.

What do we need to do?

  • David Shearer - Project Planning Director - Independent Property Group
  • Shane Garrett - Senior Economist - HIA public
  • Clare Wall - SGS
  • Melinda Dodson - Project Director - Melinda Dodson Architects
  • Travis Gilbert - CEO - ACT Shelter
  • Professor Barbara Norman - Chair - ACT Climate Change Council
  • Ben Phillips - Associate professor - ANU
  • Craig Wallace - ACTCOSS

Unfortunately the following representatives were unable to be with us on the day but joined us via Skype during the question and answer sessions to talk directly with participants.

  • Kerryn Wilmot - Institute Sustainable Futures
  • John Daley - CEO Grattan Institute

Thank you to all our presenters on the day. If you would like to hear what they had to say, links to the presentations are provided below.

Collaboration Hub - Barbara Norman University of Canberra

Collaboration Hub - Ben Phillips Australian National University

Collaboration Hub - Shane Garrett Housing Industry Association

Collaboration Hub - Travis Gilbert ACT Shelter

Collaboration Hub - David Shearer Independent Property Group

Collaboration Hub - Melinda Dodson - Melinda Dodson Architects

Collaboration Hub - Clare Wall SGS Canberra

Collaboration Hub - Craig Wallace ACTCOSS

Collaboration Hub - Day 3 - Saturday 16 June

Participants again heard from a range of industry and government representatives.

If you would like to hear what they had to say, links to the presentations are provided below.

Collaboration Hub - Combined Community Councils

Collaboration Hub - Sue McGrath, Benevloent Society

Collaboration Hub - Chris Milman, Architect

Collaboration hub - Alix Kaucz, ACT Government

Collaboration Hub - Vanessa Morris and Craig Simmons, ACT Government

Collaboration Hub - Peter Johns, ACT Government

Collaboration Hub - Simon Tennant, ACT Governement

Demonstration Housing

What is Demonstration Housing?

Through the Demonstration Housing project, the ACT Government is engaging with the community and industry stakeholders on how best to deliver a housing demonstration project that supports best practice design, including:

  • excellence in design quality;
  • carbon neutral buildings;
  • medium density infill;
  • innovative planning and engagement approaches;
  • innovative housing projects and typologies;
  • close partnership with industry bodies; and
  • options for public and affordable housing.
  • FAQ