Amid the widespread media gushing over ‘tiny homes’, it is nice to finally read an honest appraisal on why they are a retrograde solution for chronic housing policy failures:
Finally, an ingenious solution to a housing crisis that is sapping the quality of life of an entire generation: the humble van. More than 21,000 Britons applied to the DVLA in the past year – a rise of almost two-thirds in two years – to convert their van into a home…
With your cosy cubby-hole on wheels, you can escape the tyranny of a private rental sector defined by rip-off rents and a lack of security and roam the British landscape, unshackled, free!…
Stop this – stop this immediately. This is yet another attempt to glamorise a national scandal, to dress up desperation at the inability of a wealthy society to provide one of the most basic needs of its citizens as kooky and fun. Will historians look back at this as a wacky, innovative trend, or will they write: “In 2019, citizens of the country with the sixth-biggest economy were forced to transform vehicles into places to live because of the lack of affordable housing”?…
Here is a shockingly radical suggestion. Instead of cramming people into depressing, confined spaces, why don’t we provide quality housing people can afford?
Bravo. Finally somebody else ‘gets it’. Tiny homes are no genuine solution. They are merely caravans rebranded to make them sound romantic.
For generations caravan parks have been where Australia has housed its poorest and most vulnerable residents. They are effectively emergency accommodation that is one level above being homeless.
Yet, amid a 20-year crisis that has locked-out an entire generation from traditional home ownership, tiny homes are now being marketed as Australia’s housing future.
The truth is, tiny homes are a marketing gimmick and a policy smokescreen created to divert attention from the myriad of housing policy failures, including:
- Overly generous tax breaks for housing investors;
- Excessive immigration levels;
- Artificial restrictions on land supply;
- Lack of investment in public housing; and
- Insecure tenancy laws.
Reforming these areas represent genuine policy improvements and far beats cramming people into caravans.