Tiny Homes Foundation (THF) has received DA approval to build what is believed to be Australia’s first tiny house project for homeless women, men, youth and the elderly. The pilot project next to Gosford Hospital on the NSW Central Coast will consist of four tiny homes, a common lounge, a common laundry/workshop and community vegetable gardens.
“A home is not just a roof overhead it is a springboard under your feet.”
David Wooldridge, THF Co-founder and CEO.
THF’s model is based on a ‘housing-first' solution supported by a network of training, employment and social support services. “We believe in ‘housing first’ not housing only. It provides a great foundation to build on.” THF has collaborated with like minded partners who are leading practitioners within their field, such as Clayton Utz (lawyers), NBRSArchitecture (architects), Chase Burke & Harvey (surveyors) Wilson Planning (town planning), The Skills Generator (employment & training), TAFE Outreach (education) and Pacific Link (social housing providers).
As the latest strategy to increase the availability of ‘affordable housing’ each 14sq.m home has a finished cost of less than $30,000 includes full bathroom and kitchen, embraces solar efficient design and is easily assembled and disassembled.
However, building tiny houses is one thing but what makes the THF initiative groundbreaking is the fact that it is council approved, low cost, replicable and features Australia’s first “equity participation scheme for tenants” whereby accommodation payments not applied to the cost and maintenance of the project will be available to THF tenants as needed for future housing related expenditure creating a pathway from homelessness to self support.
“Solving homelessness is a question of will. Will we do it or won’t we? It can happen within the next 3-5 years – if we all really want it to.”
And as an incentive to get others to join the effort to solve homelessness THF will be making all its plans, documentation, process etc. “free access” to others who are able to replicate the project in their state or region.