affordable housing and the ballot process
— at
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale Skye House
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How did you hear about Nightingale and what aspect of Nightingale are you most interested in?

I first heard about The Commons through friends in about 2014. I’ve been following Nightingale’s activity ever since. I’m especially interested in environmental accountability and the community aspects of the model.

Can you shed some light on your balloting experience? What are your tips for others thinking about entering a Nightingale ballot?

From the time the initial purchaser package was released, I began considering each available apartment that was within my financial range. I’m quite a visual person, so about a week before the ballot I printed out all the floor plans and laid them out on my living room floor. I imagined the pros and cons, the layout, the feeling of each apartment, how I’d use the space — and decorate it, even.

I really tried to put myself in each space and be as honest with myself as I could about financial and lifestyle considerations. Through all this I tried to remain pragmatic about whether or not I’d get an apartment because I had no idea of my chances — and there are other buildings I could ballot for, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it didn’t happen. Then I ranked my top eight apartments and submitted my form!

You will be one of the first people to live in a Teilhaus apartment. What drove your decision to ballot for a Teilhaus and how does it differ from your current living situation?

This Teilhaus apartment was my first choice. It is small, perfectly formed and up high — and my apartment has a big terrace, which makes it extra special. Even though the building is packed with great apartments, a Teilhaus was the best option as I don’t earn heaps of money and, especially as a woman in her 40s, I can’t afford to be saddled with a lot of debt. With a small apartment I have the flexibility to own a home — my first, maybe my only one — and live a full life, something I was never sure could be an option.

Do you currently own a car and if so, how do you think moving to a precinct focusing on alternate modes of transport will impact your lifestyle?

I currently own a car, but when I move into Skye House, I’ll be car-free. I mostly get around by bike and public transport, so owning a car is a bit of an unnecessary and expensive luxury. Once I move in to my new home at Skye House, I’ll make use of the onsite car share hub.

Throughout the design and construction of your home, you will begin to meet other residents. Is this something you look forward to?

The Nightingale team facilitated a Skye House meet up in December, so I’ve met the other residents and chatted with most of my neighbours on my floor. Everyone’s really engaged with the process and I’m really looking forward to being involved. The meet-up means a lot because I already feel part of the community.

What are your thoughts on the inclusion of affordable housing units in the Nightingale Village?

I strongly support the inclusion of affordable housing in any building project. It’s really important to me that the mission to increase medium-density housing ensures accessibility to a really diverse range of people.

Your new home, Skye House, is located on Duckett Street in the Village. What aspects of Village life are you most looking forward to?

This is something I haven’t considered in much detail. Until now, my focus has been on getting in to the Village! I enjoy following the Instagram life of Nightingale 1, and I’ll be excited to see how the Nightingale Village can build an extended community across six buildings.

First published in
June 2022