SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
March 4, 2021

How the City of Adelaide plans to get millennials to live in the city

A “try before you buy scheme” allowing people aged 24-39 to live in the city rent-free for a short time is just one of the ideas the City of Adelaide has to lure you into the city.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Main image: Joshua Fanning

At a City of Adelaide committee meeting on Tuesday night, elected members were presented a range of strategies by the council administration as part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to “attracting more millennials to live and work in the City”.

One of the more ambitious ideas detailed in the report is the “try before you buy” scheme, which, according to council documents, is a “fun and novel way” of introducing city living to a single and or coupled-up millennials.

The administration encouraged council to next week approve a scoping study for the strategy, which would figure out finer details such as length of time and how much money could be allocated to the concept.

Veteran North Adelaide councillor Anne Moran was quick to criticise the proposal, saying no landlord or prospective seller would ever sign off on the “ridiculous idea”.

“I’d like to hear the thoughts of anyone going, ‘Come to my house and try it before you buy it’,” she said.

“I certainly won’t be doing that, but I certainly will be asking a lot of others.”

Councillor Robert Simms also voiced criticism, arguing the reason young South Australians rent is not because they don’t want to buy a home, rather it’s because “they are not able to buy”.

“Most young people, and particularly millennials, are not in the position to be able to afford to buy their own home,” he said.

Last November, the City of Adelaide reported “rental stress is an issue in CoA“, with 1800 low-income households within the precinct spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. A month later it was revealed Adelaide ranked as the nation’s the second-worst capital city in terms of rental affordability.

Yesterday the ABC reported a dilapidated home sold for $750,000 above asking price due to a pandemic-induced housing boom.

Later in the committee meeting, Simms asked the administration whether it’s possible to explore affordable housing options in postcode 5000. The committee agreed but said this kind of initiative would fit under the banner of advocacy rather than attracting young people to buy in the city.

Other proposals as part of the millennial-attracting city masterplan, which were noted in the council report but not discussed at the committee meeting, include the subsidised housing and internship proposal.

This would be a joint venture with the City of Adelaide and the State Government aimed at supporting job growth, innovation and entrepreneurialism in the city.

The administration is recommending council members approve of another scoping study to understand whether it’s possible to establish housing arrangements or find empty commercial buildings, for employees in “city-based growth industries” such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, space, defence and the creative industries.

The bundle’s final idea is a home buyer’s rate remission scheme targeted at health, education and emerging services workers, which would offer homeownership at a cheaper rate.

“Providing rate rebates is one of the few financial levers Council can access with alleviating the purchase costs of home ownership,” the report says.

“This is particularly relevant for people on low to moderate incomes who are renting but would like to transition to home ownership… It is likely there will be an overlap with the millennial age group.”

The council administration didn’t seek any action on this proposal from elected members as it’s already underway, with a full report to be presented in April. They just wanted it noted.

Share —