BUILD-TO-RENT is being hailed as the “silver bullet” solution to Australia’s current housing crisis. In recent months, key players across the government, construction and development industries have praised its virtues as a highly innovative and fast-emerging housing model. In April, National Cabinet announced a series of incentives to support BTR’s growth, including tax concessions and increased funding. But can this new housing ‘model’ solve the nation’s current housing shortage, and when it comes to designing BTR, what distinguishes it from other types of residential design?

JCB began work on its first BTR project in 2015. The team is currently working on 10 projects across the private and public sectors, varying in size from 30-750 apartments. Whitehall St, Footscray (pictured) was recently submitted for town planning. Designed in partnership with Assemble, the project comprises 450+ apartments supported by retail and commercial offerings. Located in Footscray, the rich ‘cultural heart’ of Melbourne’s west, the design facilitates the Assemble's Build-to-Rent-to-Own (BTRO) procurement model, providing a platform for renters to transition into housing ownership with security of tenure and a fixed purchase price. The project will create a sense of genuine community by providing diverse and active amenity offerings that benefits residents, the broader community and project partners.