Social Habitat Housing (SHH) is a registered Not for Profit endeavouring to bring some relief to the affordable housing problem in the Byron Shire.

We are a social enterprise set up to develop in partnership with local landowners and organisations affordable and equitable housing that is high-quality, ecologically, socially and financially sustainable.


Byron Shire Council unanimously voted in late 2017 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  as we are proposing.



Tallow Creek Village

This site is between Broken Head Road and the beach north of Suffolk Park. The site has been undergoing rehabilitation works for some time and will be ready soon for optimum usage.

Tallow Creek Village is the response from National Affordable Housing Consortium and Social Habitat Housing to the Request For Tender for a proposal for an affordable housing urban village, set appropriately within a beautiful natural environment.  We seek to partner with Byron Shire Council to realise intentions of social justice, environmental restoration, sustainability and economic contribution, by developing a “Build to Rent” affordable housing community.


 Saltwater Creek.

Adjacent to the Mullumbimby Community Gardens is 16 Ha of land owned by Byron Shire Council. Council is in process with a developing a partnership policy and SHH hopes to contribute and be involved in this on going process.



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.


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

We are a not for profit social enterprise set up to develop in partnership with local landowners and organisations affordable and equitable housing that is high-quality, ecologically, socially and financially sustainable.

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.



MALCOLM PRICE – Company Chairman

A resident of the Byron Shire for over twenty years, Malcolm trained as an architect and has twenty five years of experience as a designer and coordinator of complex multi-stakeholder community projects and multi-discipline building development teams.

With previous roles at the Queensland Department of Housing and local architects focused on sustainable design, Malcolm is the joint founder of Creative Mullumbimby, Co-Founder of the Byron Shire Big Picture Show Sustainable Forum and Co-Founder of Social Habitat Housing. He lives on a multiple occupancy community.

ROBERT ROSEN – Company Secretary

A resident of the Byron Shire for over twenty years, Robert is a residential property investor and educator. Robert played a pioneering role in development of the socially responsible investment industry in Australia and is an experienced Director. He previously served on the boards of the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW, Bush Heritage Australia and Australian Ethical Investment Ltd and is currently Director of Enova Community Energy, Pingala Co-op and Vice President of the Permaculture College of Australia. He has qualifications in accounting, commercial law, personal investment planning & management and real estate practice.


MICHAEL DOWLING – Member of Board

Michael has over 30 years of diverse international real estate funds management, finance, investment and development experience.

Living and working between Australia and Asia, Michael has skills in development, finance, funds management and corporate governance, valuation and risk management for property investment.




MICHAEL MURRAY – Member of Board

Michael has been a Byron Shire resident for over thirty years. He is the principal of Byron Property Search and has been at the coalface dealing with the stresses and demands of the local real estate market for over fifteen years. Prior to 2000, Michael was a professional TV producer and in 1999, filmed a TV series on successful eco-villages throughout Europe.

Michael has a long-term interest and commitment to alternative housing concepts including multiple occupancy, community title, eco-village design and Creative Industry Hub development.  He has been directly involved with the establishment and management of three different multiple occupancy communities including Mevlana, his current home.


A resident of the Byron Shire for four years, Kelly is a strategist, curator and mother with an interest in the intersection of business, environment and art.

A digital nomad for twenty years, Kelly has lived between Australia and Europe, held management roles at Sony and News Corp, investment banking roles at UBS and is interested in resilience, sustainability, collaboration, ecosystem innovation, blockchain and alternative housing. She has moved over ten times in two years.


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 via the form below or at

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