The Marys Hope is a project collaboration between the Department of Social Services and affordable housing provider Housing Choices Tasmania.
It consists of 26 single level, 2 bedroom units that were designed and constructed with very tight budgets and timeframes.
What was the brief?
Find a site suitable for a multiple unit development, maximise the yield and provide comfortable low cost housing that met the requirements of Silver level for Liveable Housing Australia
What were the key challenges?
Firstly finding a site within the electorate where government funding would allow was a challenge. There were no blocks suitable or for sale to achieve adequate feasible numbers.
A block was found, however it was a very steep site which posed a difficult scenario of building on a budget.
The other challenge was planning approval. Upon submission for a Development Application, many neighbours objected against the development. The council and councillors were even persuaded to object the development even though the arguments put forward by the public had no merit.
After spending much time and money with the Tribunal, the council backflipped on their position and backed the proposal, leaving the neighbours to fight alone. Mediation was reached as a courtesy not a requirement.
We continued to proceed with the development however the delays affected the date of practical completion. This date was very difficult to achieve due to the planning process and ultimately went over causing much frustration to the government and the developer.
What were the solutions?
The challenge of the site made it difficult to achieve an affordable outcome.
However, the site allowed us to tier the units down the site enabling each unit to achieve not only amazing views of the river Derwent below but also the required solar passive design into the living rooms and private open spaces.
The units were cut into the site marginally to provide access into the carport and a solid concrete slab base for the entry and bedrooms to comply with the silver level of Liveable Housing. The living room, kitchen and bathroom were then supported by an elevated timber and steel structure.
Careful planning and smart design with good access (only allowable by car) resulted in reaching silver level for LHA and over 7 stars for energy efficiency.