The tiny homes that could change everything for homeless
AFTER nearly three years of planning, The Tiny Homes Foundation have revealed their first project in Gosford - a community of four miniature houses designed to help combat homelessness in the area.
The initiative is not only a first for the Central Coast, but the whole of Australia. It aims to offer low-cost rental accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, or who may be at risk of homelessness.
The charity group revealed that they now had their sights set on a second site in Umina, and Project Co-ordinator Kellie Parkin said that local council have been very supportive.
"In Sept 2015 when the council made a motion to lease us two parcels of land, one was here in Gosford and the other was in Umina," Ms Parkin said.
"We chose to tackle this one as our pilot because it's so well serviced by the hospital and train line and other surroundings. We're now just seeking reconfirmation that we have that agreement with the Umina property and we're fairly certain we do.
"If not Umina, we know that the council is supportive and we know that there would be another opportunity."
The tiny 14.4sq m homes include a kitchenette, bathroom, bed nook and living area that opens onto a little veranda.
The beds, created by a local design team, are surrounded in ply panelling and appear almost cocoon-like.
"They're a king single so they're large enough for anyone," Ms Parkin said.
"You just get that real nurturing feel with the finishes."
As for the tenants, The Tiny House Foundation are still solidifying the details.
"We're working with Pacific Link Housing, a tier one social housing provider on the Central Coast," Ms Parkin said.
"We've been talking with them since the beginning. They're talking to Coast Shelter and other social services in the area. The nominations will come through them. We've got a few more certification boxes - only about five - to tick for the occupation certificate. And then by the end of March, we hope to have residents in."
The project has experienced delay since the development of the idea, although Ms Parkin hopes that the next one should be a lot quicker.
"One of the significant challenges has been the access to the site. There's no vehicle access, you can't get parking. Every piece of building you see has been walked onto site. So that's just created thousands more hours and dollars.
"The other element of the project is that we've tied it in, where we can, with training and employment opportunities, so we've worked with two work for the dole programs for 26 weeks each and we're also now running some work readiness training, which we think we can move on with a bit of a more refined model.
"We have learnt a million things, so the next project will be a lot faster.
When asked about the future of tiny housing, Ms Parkin said that the economical form of building could be a game-changer for many.
"There is a really strong Tiny House movement in Australia and even more so in the States. There is a lot to love about a tiny home," she said.
"While we see them as a social tool, there are widespread opportunities for people to get on board."