With housing prices continuing to rise around the world, various solutions have been tabled both at a local and national political level to give the next generation access to affordable housing. Most of these proposed solutions are financially based – subsidies, better access to loans and bonuses for building a first home. But many of these have been slowed due to the Royal Commission into Australian banks, which has resulted in abject caution on the part of the banking community.
But perhaps we need to look backwards, rather than forwards, to find a solution to this problem. Globally, many start-ups have adopted a co-living model as a business model, and are thriving as a result. Businesses like HubHaus and StarCity enable renters to share high-value accommodation, reducing the cost.
This model is also being tweaked for homebuyers. Here’s how it works –
a parcel of land is purchased in an area, and some small homes are placed on the land. While these homes are considerably smaller than average dwellings, they have a number of advantages. First, there are shared areas within the property, including barbecue and play spaces. Next, the people who buy into the property must adhere to a number of rules and criteria. Perhaps the property is targeted at young, single entrepreneurs. Or maybe families with children are the preferred demographic. Regardless, only like-minded people need apply.
This is important because what is being created here is a village. A community within which people engage with each other, socialise, babysit and get to know each other’s families. The shared spaces are just that – places to share and interact, rather than abandon when another person arrives.
These villages would enable reduced costs and consolidated overheads, and most exciting of all they are springing up all over the place. If it takes a village to raise a child, perhaps that child can live in a tiny home.