Pile “tiny houses” atop parliament and set a match to it

Like teensy, weensy clockwork cogs and gears, every time that the property bubble re-inflates we go through the same reflexive insults for would-be home-owners. The most insulting of the abortive debates is “tiny houses”, usually led by the bourgeois hypocrites at the ABC. Today is no exception:

  • Academic eggheads Heather Shearer and Paul Burton argue that “tiny houses” are booming. Yet nobody is living them.
  • The eggheads are bemused by this because tiny houses are so much cheaper.
  • They put the discrepancy down to “values”.
  • But remain committed to tiny house reform because it is so much more “sustainable”.

I know your blood is already boiling so I will just offer a very quick summary of what is wrong with this argument:

  • Why does the article declare there is a boom if there is not? The only boom is in spruiking “tiny houses” as a fallacious fix for the bubble.
  • Hoocoodanode that people don’t want to live in pimped-up caravans and become tailor trash.

That’s all there is to this story. “Tiny houses” can help the homeless, who are already “trash”, and see a caravan as the Hilton. But the rest of us see living in a caravan as an utter failure.

Because it is.

So, here is what we should do with every “tiny house” in Australia not currently occupied or useful to Aussie “trash”.

Drive them all to Canberra. Swing an axe through the lot. Pile the kindling one hundred feet high up against the parliament. Douse it with petrol. And burn the entire edifice to the ground.

In short, get off your arse and do something to change housing affordability. It’s a deliberate inter-generational war and it will not end until youth puts enough heat on parliament to change it.

Tiny houses should enrage not placate.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. As an architect I fully concur with your views DLS. My understanding of housing economics ain’t much but it is a lot more than most of my fellow professionals, who will happily now trot out the next iteration of “innovative designs for small scale, high-density living” with absolutely no idea that they are simply the useful idiots of the property cartel. Groan

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Concur. Andres Duany was waxing lyrical about the virtues of tiny houses in “designed communities” (expensive caravans in trailer parks). DPZ have started manufacturing them. Blah! New urbanism indeed.

      Cost per square meter is on par with a Dennis Family Home (mini-mansion).

  2. Tiny houses can be pretty great for that small group of people who have a good friend or relative (or, most likely, parents) with some well-situated land who are happy to have someone living in a tiny house on that land. If they’re lucky (and they’re already lucky) the parents will pay the utility and rates bills as well, while the residents sit around opining about their radical mortgage-free lifestyle and how they don’t want to spend forty years trapped in an office like their parents.

  3. Duke_WellingtonMEMBER

    Its another issue the other side has just given up on – I almost can’t blame them.
    Sorry the kids are being told to worry about far more important things…..

  4. mikef179MEMBER

    “…it will not end until youth puts enough heat on parliament to change it.”

    Do you really think that is going to happen now? Even if a movement did get started it would surely only precipitate a financial crisis, as so much of Australia’s financial system is dependent on keeping prices high. It all kind of seems inevitable to me at this point anyway. It’ll happen before people start to complain or pretty much at the same time.

    I’ve been talking about it off and on for 10 years and I no longer care. I can’t see any solution that won’t be extremely painful at this point. As you have so eloquently put in many other posts, just “let it burn!”.

  5. kannigetMEMBER

    Tiny houses were never meant to be a solution to housing shortages, they were always for those with an minimalist alternative mindset or a weekender in the country… Only idiots think they are a housing solution.

    Then again, if we change the rules and allow the formation of large parks of “tiny homes” that have shared facilities, that could also double as a venue for tourism based “mobile home” travellers we might be on to something…. We could call it the “Largish 3 Tiny Home Park”.

      • kannigetMEMBER

        Just because your don’t subscribe to that lifestyle doesn’t make them idiots. A number of my friends are minimalists, which I dont understand but whenever I have to move house all the junk I accumulate and now have to move makes me think I might be the one who has it all wrong…

  6. working class hamMEMBER

    Shed homes.
    If I had a block, that’s what I would build. Cheap, solid, fast external construction, highly customisable and can be fit out DIY.
    There are some seriously architectural designs about, with cost per m/3 well under brick veneer speccy’s.

    • Hammy , Also easy to fix services plumbing etc as all you have to do is remove a sheet of iron from the exterior. My personable abode is on a slightly slopping block house level at front and slopping to rear.
      Very easy to go under the house and to get access to services and this was one of the reasons I purchased it.

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      That should work in most places if you have a bit of a hands-on inclination.

      Mind you, in my end of the world (Snowy Mountains area) it would be more than a little uncomfortable in a shed most days of the year. Having stated that, one of our neighbours has perfected the art and decided to stay in the shed – which was originally planned as a temporary abode – and has abandoned the building of the house earlier proposed for nearby.

      • A colleague of mine built out a shed on a rural property that his wife had, and I think they intend to retire out there. It gets really cold there, so he insulated the crap out of it and apparently its thermal performance is way better than the average house, even over winter before they had reverse cycle air conditioning installed.

        It’s pretty amazing what you can do. You wouldn’t know it’s a shed from inside.

    • When I was about 7 our house caught fire after a lightning strike. After a stint in a caravan my dad fitted out the shed. We froze through a few winters while building a new house before abandoning the project and selling up a matter of weeks before the 1989 recession hit.

      There is no romance in the idea of ever living in a caravan, a shed, a yurt or anything other than a detached house.

  7. darkasthunderMEMBER

    God its so twisted isnt it? The landed class handing out crumbs dressed as ‘innovation’ to a problem their greed created. In a single generation we will create a permanent underclass of serfs on the back of cheap money and bubble in house prices. My house, of course, not yours, because you’ll be living in a ‘designed community’.

  8. Tiny House euphemism for:Hiace van, Sandman, cubby house, doll house, shed, camper van, tent, caravan, gazebo, shrubbery, car, station wagon, cave, treehouse, retro an, one bedroom flat, two bedroom flat, 3 bedroom flat, 4 bedroom house in burbs etc:))

  9. Lets be brutally honest… Housing… is responsible for many problems.

    Fix Housing and a lot of these other problems go away.

    We are solving every single problem in Australia except the main problem that needs to be solved.

  10. Its not an intergenerational war. Most middle aged parents and people even older like my old dads age of 92 are angry at what the government and RBA have done and no, my dad doesn’t have bags of cash in the bank, nor superannuation (ever). . The whole idea of tiny homes and people living in caravan parks is disgusting and does not justify itself on any front at all unless you have well off parents with a real back yard, ie its a granny flat and is just used as a platitude to excuse the inner circle of parasites, ie the entire LNP, RBA and the IPA from doing the right thing.
    In another article in MB today the issue of ZIRP and how it affects pensioners is, once again taken up in a sarcastic manner even though the same low interest rate policy, ie way bellow real inflation and especially if house price inflation was taken into account (as it should be) has had a massive effect on house prices and given steroid level confidence to speculators. I bet only 10% of retired people fit the identikit picture of what MB likes to believe them to be, ie mega super, property investment, franked dividends and a house that is worth upwards of $1.5mill. In fact you will find far more are living in rented accommodation, almost zero super and many also living in caravan parks. My wife and I both lost our jobs by the age of 50 and have lived off cash savings for most of the time since, ie over 10 years now and will not have one of your assumed retirements full of cruises and lunches on the harbour.
    Another issue I have with your people, ie under the age of 45(ie half the voting age population) is that far too many of you voted LNP instead of voting for the party which would put an end to property speculation instead you all voted for the worst possible movement you could have chosen.