Social housing ‘meets standard’

Housing provider talks to residents after heat

By Sonia Isaacs

COAST 2 Bay Housing Group is confident its social housing projects, including the recently completed Akuna complex in Beerwah, adhere to rigorous government guidelines and thermal comfort standards.
CEO, Andrew Elvin, confirmed the Akuna project was designed to maximise natural ventilation, emphasising sustainability and compliance with all relevant codes.
“Coast2Bay Housing’s priority is developing sustainable housing, and this property fully complies with all government codes and standards,” he said.
“We rely on funding to enable us to develop more homes for vulnerable people to address the significant housing need in our communities, and it is not always possible to include additional features such as air conditioning.”
A Department of Housing spokesperson said Coast2Bay Housing Group collaborated with the department and architects to ensure the design suited their target cohort and the Queensland climate.
They said the Beerwah project incorporated features such as energy-efficient sun and privacy screening, and ceiling fans in all units.
“The units at Beerwah have been built to innovatively maximise natural ventilation with a high proportion of glazing, including operable louvre clerestory windows where possible, which promote cross ventilation and extraction of hot air using the heat chimney effect.
Operable windows and glazed doors have also been provided with security screens so they can be left open,” the spokesperson said.
Addressing concerns about the complex’s cooling capacity during extreme heat, Coast2Bay’s housing support team met with residents. Discussions included exploring options for enhanced livability and comfort, potentially incorporating features like air conditioning. A Coast2Bay Housing spokesperson said the not-for-profit group was continuing to work closely with the Akuna complex Residents Advisory Group.
The spokesperson also confirmed that depending on individual circumstances, funding was accessible for tenants to cover air conditioner purchase and installation.
“Tenants can go buy units if they first check with us about installation, as some are better suited to purchase a portable unit.
We also have a process for tenants to apply for us to fund them or buy other cooling needs. Our big concern is not just the upfront cost but whether tenants are sure they can afford the electricity costs.
“Many of our tenants, after working out the long-term cost, choose not to buy air conditioners,” they said.