Sustainable and Affordable Housing in Byron Shire
In its Affordable Housing Strategy the Byron Shire Council looks at making Council property available for affordable housing. Let’s come together and discuss our options.
The Housing Group of Transition Byron Shire is looking at examples of housing cooperatives, housing sydicates and eco-housing from around the world. If you are interested in joining a sustainable and affordable housing group in Byron Shire add your comments here. Meanwhile, have a look at our Sustainable Affordable Housing page to read about the solutions other groups have come up with elsewhere.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING CATEGORIES
Comprising low cost, secure, long-term rental as well as budget ownership of carbon neutral houses, townhouses and flats.
- RE-USED AND RE-MODELLED EXISTING BUILDINGS
For example, the old convent in Mullumbimby. Ideal for co-housing
- INDIVIDUAL OR SMALL GROUPS
New developments in greenfields sites in and around existing towns
Large developments comprising a hundred or more homes, like the cutting edge 19980s eco suburb, Village Homes in Davis, California, but with facilities like a general store/coffee shop that provide a core and make for a proper village. This could include co-housing. Visit the Village Homes website – www.villagehomesdavis.org.
It is thought that around thirty percent of these large subdivisions could be affordable housing.
- ICONIC HAMLETS
Closely knit communities of dedicated individuals who wish to live and demonstrate/teach living very low impact living, like the Lammas project in Wales. Probably structured in the form of co-housing. Visit the Lammas website for design and structure and the Hockerton Housing Project website (from England) for good examples of classes and workshops. www.hockertonhousingproject.org.uk
- A LANDMARK LOCALISATION PROJECT
“A wholistic, fully sustainable and less vulnerable way of living, where the basic necessities of food, water, power, clothing, furniture etc are all produced locally, putting an end to our precariously balanced and vulnerable way of living.” – A VillageTown. It’s a project that recreates the lovely atmosphere of a southern European town, surrounded by villages that butt-up against the central town, forming a development of 3,500 to 10,000 people. A population this size can create a local economy that is self-sufficient in everyday needs and as a result would be much less affected by national and international economic or other upheavals. Landmark localisation and organic architecture make for harmonious living. Full details at Village Forum
It is thought that around thirty percent of this VillageTown development could be affordable housing.
There are many ways to set up housing groups – here are some examples:
- BEND – Bega Eco-Neighbourhood Developers is a not-for-profit Incorporated Association in Bega, NSW. Within BEND an affordable eco-housing cooperative formed and partnered with an existing Community Housing provider. www.thebegavalley.org.au/bend.html
- At Christie Walk, a small eco-city development in Adelaide affordability was achieved by people creating a non-profit development cooperative and building company. See www.urbanecology.org.au
Architect and town planner, Gabi Bohnet, describes the Tenant Syndicates in detail on the page Living Space for Everybody. Here is a quick introduction:
In Germany the Tenant Syndicate (www.syndikat.org) acquires properties and permanently removes them from the speculative housing market. There are currently 33 independent housing projects in the syndicate, which are all autonomous and self-organised. Their style and methods of operating may vary widely but they are all connected in that each one has a representative of the Syndicate on their board of directors with veto power, should the group ever be inclined to sell out.
Each housing project pays a small amount of their rental income into a solidarity fund which is used to legally and financially support new projects. Other finances have been mostly sought through private direct credits of lenders who find this socially ethical project worthwhile. The Tenant Syndicate is willing to include projects overseas.
Both the Cooperatives and Syndicates have in common that the members / tenants participate in designing their own living space and surroundings. This allows each project to become architecturally, ecologically and socially authentic and real. http://www.planningforreal.org.uk/