On Saturday 15 July a large group of people gathered in the Darlington Hall to listen to and discuss co-operative housing in the Perth Hills. We are experiencing growing interest in more community oriented, sustainable and affordable housing, also in this area. With two to three opportunities in Greenmount it was a good time to get together and gauge interest in concrete sites and projects. The response was overwhelming, nearly 90 people rsvp-ed and 50-60 came along on a cold, rainy winters day.
In April 2017, the Gardening Australia show included a segment on “A Thriving Community“, featuring Genesis by The Green Swing. It is where I live.
Of course for a gardening show, the focus was on the open and green spaces that are such an important element of our suburban community.
These open and green spaces include our individual private courtyards, but, in co-housing style, most of the open and garden spaces are shared. We have productive gardens at the rear with fruit trees, a couple of raised garden beds and of course the shed. At the front of the development are native gardens; we also re-vegetated the verges. And then of course we showed Josh the community sump garden which Josh planted the seed for in early 2010.
This article by Eugenie Stockmann on Social capital and housing was published in ‘Thinking Allowed’ in the Fremantle Herald in October 2016.
NO MATTER how much one saves by not brunching on avocado toast, house affordability is an issue Western Australians will be dealing with for a long time. With median house prices in Perth over $500,000, good news has come from the City of Fremantle, which is encouraging a cooperative venture for self-designed and built housing.
A 1477sqm site at 7 Quarry Street will be a showcase for an innovative development that provides a diversity of housing options with positive sustainability outcomes. Because it is to be designed and built under owners’ guidance, there is no developer’s margin – usually around 20 per cent of total cost – so the project can deliver more affordable housing.
In May this year I was fortunate to visit Iewan, the largest straw bale social housing project in The Netherlands. My in-laws had sent me a flyer about the project some time ago. I stuck it on the wall in my home office. What inspired me was not just that it was largely built with straw, or that it was a social and affordable housing project, but that it was partly built by future residents and a large number of volunteers.
Iewan is a housing co-operative in the Netherlands consisting of 24 apartments, each with their own kitchen and bathroom. There are homes for single and two person households, and also homes for group living and families.
The Fremantle Council has announced the introduction of a Baugruppen demonstration project.
The idea is based on a German model of housing development, allowing buyers to bypass developers and create tailor-made apartments. The council is selling off 7 Quarry Street in Fremantle, a 1,477-square-metre block close to Fremantle Park and the central shopping district and next door to a child care centre.
The council is seeking Expressions of Interest from groups of prospective buyers who want to collectively build without the involvement of property developers or real estate agents to show their interest.