City West Housing’s commitment to high-quality affordable housing is demonstrated by the development and operations model of Ironbark Apartments as a diverse, sustainable community that residents are proud to call their home.

Completed in June 2020, Ironbark provides 75 affordable rental apartments. The building is the final piece of the Harold Park precinct urban renewal redevelopment and serves as the gateway site for the precinct.

Ironbark provides a high-quality architectural design fit-for-purpose for affordable housing that complements Harold Park and the broader neighbourhood, ensuring that the building is indistinguishable from market housing.

All apartments are affordable rental housing in perpetuity with income-based rents as the main point of difference, ensuring the residents are not in housing stress (paying more than 30% of their gross household income on rent). This allows the residents, who are very low, low and moderate income earners, to live and work locally. Residents were selected from our prequalified waiting list.

As a build-to-affordable-rent development, the design focuses on long-term liveability and operations rather than sales. The design differences include: robust internal and external materials with limited painting, two lifts in case of lift maintenance and repairs, reduced car parking, single bathrooms in apartments with a common bathroom with shower in case of maintenance, dishwasher provision only, and ceiling fans and roller blinds in living areas and bedrooms (no air-conditioning to reduce energy costs for residents).

City West Housing established partnerships to provide residents with additional amenities. GoGet provides residents with free car-share memberships and the lowest rates. Valiant Furniture furnished an apartment for a resident in need using rental furniture that was still in good condition but had reached the end of its styling hire life. Tangerine and MyConnect provide access to competitive rates for internet and free utilities connections to relieve move-in pressures.

Judges Comments

Ironbark sits comfortably in the Harold Park precinct, indistinguishable from the ‘for market’ buildings which surround it. Ironbark delivers high quality, affordable community housing and incorporates playful attention to detail which will add joy to its residents for years to come.

The materiality of the building will deliver low maintenance for City West Housing whilst at the same time adding high value. Challenges with neighbours were deftly handled in the development process and the project optimises its exposure to the adjacent parkland.

City West Housing has done a fantastic job delivering affordable homes which are indistinguishable from the multi-million dollar apartments surrounding it. The judging panel was unanimous in its view that Ironbark was this year’s winner of Excellence in affordable development.