wed 26 MAY 2021


Build to Rent – An alternative Australian Dream?


Build to Rent is emerging on the Australian residential scene in response to global forces that are shaking up the housing market. The Australian Dream is shifting; planners and policy makers need to act, and the time is now.

The new Australian Dream is adapting to modern society, it is no longer just about owning a house and living in the suburbs. BTR provides an alternative. An alternative that is delivering high quality housing across the world.
While the concept of long-term rental accommodation has been around for years, in its current form, BTR is providing a fresh approach for rental living. It provides the key to unlocking the future liveability and affordability of Australia’s cities.

Australia is a liveable country. Our cities are consistently named among the world’s most desirable, but this is changing. Priorities have shifted. As Aussies in urban areas, we place an increased emphasis on the need for residential dwellings that offer proximity to employment as well as high quality amenity and guarantees security of tenure.

We also continue to grow. Over the next decade (2020-2030), ABS dwelling projections indicate a requirement to deliver almost 1.3 million homes. Even with conservative assumptions on rental demand, that’s an additional 400,000 rented dwellings that will need to be delivered.
How can we as planners and policy makers support BTR? We need to look forward and amend our policy frameworks to support BTR. We’ve seen this happen very recently in NSW and other States should follow. In order to continue to encourage diverse residential accommodation in our cities and to ensure our new dwellings are inclusive/able to service our changing needs, we need to look at what BTR can offer.

This paper/presentation will:
– Define BTR;
– Consider population growth and demand for residential accommodation to 2030;
– Examine successful case studies internationally and across Australia;
– Review recent policy change nationally; and
– Make the case for broader policy change across Australia to support its delivery.

Jessica Carmichael MPIA 


Jess is a town planner, project manager and general urban and city enthusiast. Working in the industry since 2010, she has qualifications in both planning and project management and a depth of professional experience across both Queensland and the United Kingdom (London). She also has a genuine passion for sub-tropical residential design and strategic city shaping policies and guidance. Jess is especially interested in how the broader development industry can work to foster emerging residential trends (build to rent and co-living) in Queensland, thereby encouraging and delivering residential diversity, choice and quality to the housing market.

Gareth Hately MPIA

Gareth is an outcome focused planning leader, who is passionate about creating thriving regional communities through partnerships and committed to leading a motivated team.. Throughout his 15 year career he has had the privilege of working for a range of rural, regional, peri urban and metropolitan municipalities, the Municipal Association of Victoria and more recently the Victorian Planning Authority. His career has seen him prepare and lead a range of statutory and strategic planning projects. Career highlights include assisting Government to scope the role of Metropolitan Planning Authority, representing the profession at Federal and State Government Parliamentary Inquiries, co-developing the state’s first Statement of Planning Policy for distinctive areas through to creating new communities through Precinct Structure Planning. Gareth was elected President of PIA Victoria in 2019.