The Tasmanian Government has made it easier to build granny flats, by inviting applications for $10,000 government grants and clarifying Statewide planning rules.
Under the government scheme, the first 250 eligible applicants will receive $10,000 towards building a granny flat-type dwelling to complement their existing home.
The grants opened on 30 June and will be available until 30 September, or until the scheme is fully subscribed.
To be eligible for the grant, the building works need to have been either contracted or commenced on or after 16 March 2021 (when the government announced its intention to make the funding available).
The works must exceed $20,000 in value and be completed within two years of signing the grant deed.
In addition, the home must be available for long‑term rental (minimum of two years) and be rented within three months of it being completed. You must also have an ‘arm’s length’ and market-based tenancy agreement terms in place.
Granny flat building guide
To help people construct granny flats, the government has launched a brochure explaining the benefits of granny flats and giving examples of good design and town planning approval pathways.
Formally known as ‘secondary residences’ under the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, and sometimes also called ‘ancillary dwellings’, granny flats are self-contained extra living quarters added to existing dwellings.
They can be used to support the changing needs of families, such as to provide extra space and independence for young adults or ageing parents.
They can also provide a smaller, lower maintenance option for downsizers.
- Separate, self-contained buildings in your backyard, such as a tiny home
- Self-contained additions attached to your existing residence
- Self-contained spaces within your residence that make better use of existing floor space
- Transportable dwellings, such as a container-type home.
To meet the Tasmanian planning provisions, the homes must be on the same title as, and share existing service connections with, the main dwelling.
They also must not exceed 60m2 of gross floor area.
It’s important to note that planning restrictions related to the slope and size of your block still apply.
You may also need to consider planning codes, such as those related to scenic landscapes, significant trees, bushfire-prone areas and historic heritage. You’ll need to check in with your local council to ensure your proposed dwelling meets their requirements.
Tasmanian affordable housing issues
Additional affordable housing is much needed in Tasmania, with CoreLogic figures showing the state has experienced one of the biggest housing price hikes in the country.
As of May 31, 2021, Hobart dwellings had experienced an annual increase of 16.5%, to a median value of $574,543.
The value of dwellings in regional Tasmania had increased by 18.1%.
Rental prices have also jumped over the same period, by 7.2% for Hobart houses and 7.1% for units.
The Tasmanian Government says the $2.5 million granny flat grant scheme, which the re-elected Liberal Government took to the last election, is designed to support home ownership, increase housing supply, and combat rising rental costs.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, said he encourages homeowners to “contact your local council to see what’s possible in your area”.
Comment from our CEO
Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham said the grant scheme is a welcome boost for homeowners and rental tenants alike.
The Ancillary Dwelling Grants Program will help create more affordable rental properties, which are sorely needed” Ms. Graham said.
“And for those homeowners who receive the grant, it will facilitate better use of their property, in the short term generating rental income, and in the longer term offering increased capital gain, as well as more flexibility in future use.
“Longer term, over 50s who are caring for elderly parents, for example, or who still have young adults in the family home, can benefit from the extra space and independence afforded by a granny flat.
“Alternatively, some homeowners may prefer to move into their own granny flat later on, to better suit their needs as they grow older.”
Find out more:
- Tasmanian Government Ancillary Dwelling Grants Program
- Tasmanian Government granny flats brochure
- Stamp duty cut and granny flat funding boost to help Tasmanian downsizers
- Downsizing to a granny flat: your questions answered
- Granny flat building boom expected due to tax cut pledge
- Tiny houses: What you need to know about this growing downsizing trend