We regretfully inform you that the City of Fremantle has decided not to proceed with the Quarry St Co-operative Housing opportunity. Their decision has removed the chance of creating perpetually affordable housing for owner occupiers in Fremantle. The decision, and most importantly the handling of the Expression of Interest and Tender process by the City of Freo, is perplexing, and leaves much to answer for.
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.