The ACT government will examine the build-to-rent model to determine whether it could help to grow the supply of affordable housing stock in the territory.
The planning directorate has put out a tender for a contractor to conduct a study into the feasibility of the model in the ACT.
Under the build-to-rent model a developer retains ownership of all apartments in the building and all are leased out to tenants.
The ACT's feasibility study would look into the timing, industry appetite and suitable locations for the model, a government spokesman said.
A contractor would be required to undertake the study over four stages, with a final report expected by May 2021.
The first stage would be research to look at the opportunities and challenges of the build-to-rent model, it would examine how government policies, market structure, demand and supply would support the model.
A feasibility analysis would be the second stage and would look at different financial models. This would be followed by an assessment of the criteria that would need to be fulfilled by developers in any tender or expressions-of-interest process.
Lastly, the contractor would present the findings to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.
An EPSDD spokesman said it was important time was taken to ensure all aspects of the model were properly considered.
"The ACT government is committed to growing the supply of affordable rental stock through the community housing and private sectors," he said.
"The government is currently investigating what capacity the build-to-rent model has to meet this objective."
There has been a slow take-up of the build-to-rent model in Canberra. In fact Canberra's first fully build-to-rent development - that wasn't social or student housing - was only completed earlier this year. It was a 107-unit complex in Amaroo.
Multiple studies have concluded investment into build-to-rent developments could help the COVID-19 economic recovery.
A recent report by companies Urbis and Allens found the construction of 10,000 build-to-rent apartments could support 3500 jobs a year. Furthermore, 50,000 build-to-rent apartments could support 19,000 jobs a year.
But the ACT government said the proposed study was planned before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The territory's housing strategy, announced in 2018, flagged the release of a site for the construction of a build-to-rent development. As well, the Labor-Greens government has committed to extend the Common Ground Gungahlin with a build-to-rent development in their power-sharing agreement.
"The build-to-rent model has been an area of interest of the ACT government for a number of years now, and this study is not being undertaken solely due to the COVID-19 public health emergency," the spokesman said.