The “tiny home’ phenomenon continues to get touted as a solution to Australia’s chronic housing affordability problems – not only for our youth, but also as a way to house the homeless:
A tiny home village has been opened in Melbourne’s west for those who have experienced homelessness and need a permanent residence.
The Harris Transportable Housing Project is one of several tiny home villages around the country. These villages aim to provide immediate housing to those who are experiencing homelessness.
This project first began two years ago with the aim of creating tiny houses that would sit on unused government land for tenants to live in on a long-term basis…
The project will establish nine tiny home villages with a total of 57 homes on empty Vic Roads land…
The units currently sit on Vic Roads land that won’t be needed for a decade, but the authority will give tenants 12 months’ notice should the land be required.
While it’s great to see the homeless being housed, there is nothing revolutionary about this project. Australia has had “tiny home villages” for decades, only they were previously called the less sexy name of “caravan parks”.
That’s right, throughout Australia you will find caravan parks providing long-term leases to the poorest and most marginalised in society. Just like this “tiny home village”, there is no actual home ownership, since there is no land and no title. Rather, they are a means to provide emergency accommodation to those that cannot afford anything better.
The problem is, such caravan parks are being shut down, casting low income residents onto the streets:
In 2016, development company Longriver bought the land for $35.6 million, forcing the eviction of 153 permanent residents from the park.
The firm plans to build 294 medium-density townhouses.
Wantirna’s residents were devastated…
Unlike in New South Wales and Queensland, those living in residential parks in Victoria are not entitled to compensation when the land is sold from underneath them…
The long-term solution to Australia’s housing woes does not involve cramming people into
caravans “tiny homes”, but rather addressing the underlying drivers:
- Lowering immigration;
- Reforming property tax rorts;
- Freeing-up fringe land supply; and
- Increasing investment into public housing.
Address these distortions instead of locking more Australians into battery-style living.