Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to 2018.

If you are not already aware, council unanimously voted to rezone the land behind the Mullumbimby Community Garden, often referred to as Lot 22, for a purpose consistent with our proposal of affordable housing. The rezoning now proceeds to the state government.

This is a great step forward in the process. The new zoning will allow for a few different uses for this site, one of which is developing a Land Lease Community like we are proposing.

As soon as we have something more concrete or substantial we will let you know and make a date for another public meeting.

This will probably occur some time in March.

Looking forward to seeing you all again then.

The team at Social Habitat Housing.

Social Habitat Housing (SHH) is a registered Not-For-Profit company endeavouring to bring some relief to the affordable housing problem in our region.

SHH believes there are simple, affordable, sustainable housing options already available. The current development and compliance process streamlines either standard urban subdivision or strata units. There is room to move between these two extremes. The growth of home occupier interest in tiny homes, rural land sharing, van life, container conversions and many other less conventional options shows there is a movement in this direction.

Concept 1: Tiny House Eco-village

SHH is looking at site options to establish a Tiny House Eco-village.  This allows a resident to own the dwelling and have a long-term lease on the land on which it sits. This structure is already used in retirement villages and caravan parks. It is possible to make it available to other occupiers with housing needs. Bank finance is also becoming more flexible for these kinds of solutions.

Suitable land should be accessed from either from the Byron Shire Council, NSW state government, State Rail, private landowners or a joint ventures with landowners. The land would be developed with adequate infrastructure and then divided into small blocks (200 M2 approx.). The resident then acquires a long term lease (i.e. 20 -30 years) and builds on the block a suitable dwelling to their own taste and requirements within an appropriate internal development control plan (DCP).

  • House size would be limited (90-150 M2)
  • Resident is required to fund their own house (as a guide approx. $150,000 – $250,000)
  • Owner may be able to sell or bequeath the dwelling to heirs subject to remaining lease terms
  • Property will not be able to be used for investment or holiday letting
  • Land lease could be structured as paying up front or as a regular payment.
  • There will be a weekly community facilities payment. (likely in the region of $90 – 150 Per Week), note this payment may cover or subsidise some living costs, such as power, telecommunications, insurance and transport.

The intention is to create affordable living not just affordable housing.

CONCEPT 2 – Senior Co-housing Cluster Dwellings

This is a concept that will work within the context of a Tiny House Ecovillage or more conventional freehold land, either suburban, urban or rural blocks.

As an example, clusters would include:

  • Four to eight small individual units between 25sqm and 45sqm in size; clustered around communal facilities including kitchen, laundry and optionally guest space.
  • Individual units would be self-contained similar to a bedsitter or studio apartment including: Bedroom/living space; Limited kitchen facilities; and small bathroom.

These set ups are best designed around groups of people who know each other and are capable of making decisions together.

Residency Options – it is important that all residents of a cluster have equivalent legal rights, the assumption is that each would own a form of unit or share that entitles them to individual residential unit and equal access and responsibility for the communal property.

Alternatively, clusters will be set up as a community of strata title where zoning allows.

In each case we are exploring options that make these properties something that a residential banking loan is suitable for.

The Initial Process

SHH is in discussion with various site options. At this early stage we are canvassing for parties or groups interested in being co developers with SHH. Please register your interest in the form below.

Builders, designers, architects, and landowners are also being asked to register an interest in being involved as either service providers or joint venture partners.

We will soon be holding a public meeting to further explain the project and answer questions. Anyone registering here will be notified of the date and place.