For those interested in alternative living projects the Exploring Tiny Houses in Fremantle – and Different ways of Living Tiny is a good way to connect with like-minded people, network and share ideas.
Join Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton – back from her recent trip to Europe – plus other expert panelists for a discussion and presentation of examples by local people who are pioneering a new phase of modest housing in Fremantle.
Its on Thursday March 2nd at the Fremantle Library from 6pm-7:30pm.
In times of a lack of really affordable housing, homeless people, a fast ageing population, and many mature singles and students looking for small living options, local councils should do more to explore options and find ways of alternative living.
Living Together Better is on tonight at 6.30 at the Fremantle Townhall, so everyone interested in alternative living/sharing projects should attend and share their opinion and ideas.
It is organised by Meriam Salama who is an architect and founder of a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable housing through co-ownership. Her venture, The Henry Project, seeks to provide opportunities for multiple small households to share ownership of a single dwelling, living independently, but with some shared facilities. The basic premise is that living together equates to living better; living together provides better affordability, and better social connectedness.
Living Together Better will give people the space to meet others similarly interested in the idea, to start developing connections that may lead to this type of co-living.
The model Salama is offering can make affordable housing, with genuine social benefit, a viable alternative in the Fremantle area.
Meriam Salama is an architect and founder of a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable housing through co-ownership. Her venture, The Henry Project, seeks to provide opportunities for multiple small households to share ownership of a single dwelling, living independently, but with some shared facilities. The basic premise is that living together equates to living better; living together provides better affordability, and better social connectedness.
The Henry Project event is held on 22nd November 2016, and co-hosted by the City of Fremantle, and Shelter WA. It will provide details of how co-ownership works and what these properties might look like.
More importantly, it will give people the space to meet others similarly interested in the idea, to start developing connections that may lead to this type of co-living.
There are more event details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-together-living-better-tickets-28594873035
Through The Henry Project, Meriam hopes to create opportunities to free people from the overwhelming burden of household debt, in order to live more fulfilling lives.
The model she is offering can make affordable housing, with genuine social benefit, a viable alternative in the Fremantle area.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will conduct a Heritage Development Tour for the National Housing Conference 2015.
The website states “Fremantle is a historic port city currently undergoing major urban revitalisation – with social and affordable housing a key part of this transformation. Led by the Mayor of Fremantle, this tour showcases the redevelopment of a number of unique heritage buildings that are helping to house the city’s growing population.”
I am not at all sure that Fremantle is doing any better with affordable housing than any other council and while we have a percentage for affordable housing policy in Fremantle the number of apartments are generally lowered when developers tell Council it is not financially viable to include so many affordable apartments in a complex.
One has to question what affordable means. Are apartments affordable for people who are earning let’s say $ 30,000 a year or those on a pension who get even less? How many apartments in Fremantle were made available through the shared-equity scheme, and how many were social/public housing the poorest of the community could afford?
I would also like to know the real percentage of affordable apartments in all the new development in Freo, is it 15%, 10%, or less?
Maybe Brad Pettitt could kindly answer those questions, so we get to know the real facts about affordable housing in Fremantle.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has been publishing interesting articles on his blog about his fact-finding trip to some of the European most liveable cities. His latest article can be read in full here: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/lessons-learned-from-europe-part-two/
I commented on Brad’s blog a few weeks ago that some of the things he is very impressed about are things we in Fremantle have long indicated as being desirable for our city and a lot of it was mentioned during the Fremantle 2029 community sessions, but largely ignored when the report on it was published.
Brad writes in his latest blog post that his observations in Europe showed that new development needs to be accompanied by a major provision of high quality green spaces at a total of 30% of the land size of the development, not the 10% that is standard in W.A. Increase in public open spaces and making it compulsory for new developments is something others in the Freo community and I personally have called for on this blog for years. It shows that there are visionaries with sensible and practical ideas in our own suburbs and they should be listened to better and taken seriously..
Brad also writes that new development needs to have a diverse range of housing that brings the community together of all ages and incomes, ideally in the same building. This is again something I an others have been pushing for for a long time, because there is a risk that especially the Fremantle CBD could become a yuppy town that is only affordable to those on high incomes, while those who need affordable housing are pushed away to the suburbs where anti-social behaviour often becomes a problem, as recent reports about Hilton and the one on the Iceworks development show.
I would love to see Brad initiate a public forum session on how we can plan and develop Fremantle better, because it is essential to get it right and it should not be left to a few ideology driven who have a big public profile and get all the media attention.
People have been critical of the Fremantle Mayor going on this trip and calling it a junket, but I really enjoy Brad Pettitt’s first-hand reporting on those European cities, because we can make them relevant to what we are doing wrong here and improve faster that way.
Residential development plans for Burt Street in Fremantle by the Housing Department of WA are a good example of how difficult good governance is. There is no doubt the Perth metro area needs higher density accommodation to curb the very expensive and non-viable urban sprawl, and that there is a desperate need for more public housing, but people living nearby in single storey homes feel rightly threatened by the massive development of more than 200 units at 37 metres height. There will no doubt be a social and traffic/parking impact on their quality of life.
It is extremely disappointing that this will be a commercial development and that only 15 per cent of the new units will be for public tenants and that not even half of the development is required to be “affordable” whatever that means.
Was is even more disappointing is that the site housed 62 Homeswest units before it was demolished but the new development will only have around 30 public housing units, if State Government does not give in to a bleating developer, who will no doubt tell them that 15 percent is not commercially viable, and reduce the required public housing to only 10 percent.
In reality it makes very little difference what Fremantle Council votes for. If they don’t recommend approval it will probably be overruled by the State’s Development Assessment Panel anyway.
My personal feeling is that the height and the mass of the building are inappropriate for the location and that it needs to be scaled down. It should also contain a lot more units for REAL affordable and public housing. The location will provide 360 degree ocean views, so it will highly likely be filled with penthouses and expensive yuppie apartments, which will leave little room for affordable accommodation.
Fremantle based SHAC-Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Access Housing to construct 12 affordable rental dwellings on the Kim Beazley site in White Gum Valley that is being developed into a large residential area at Stevens Street.
Donaldson and Warn are the project architects.
I am always skeptical when I hear the word affordable, because there never is an upper or lower limit to what is supposed to be affordable, so do we mean affordable to people on $ 75,000 a year or people on unemployment benefit or a pension? Is affordable rental property $ 200 a week or $ 400 or more?
Now that we will have affordable housing for creative people what about a co-op for street cleaners, garbos, shopping trolley collectors, etc. I am not at all sure I like the ghetto for certain professions idea. What do you think??
The battle to accommodate low-income people is not getting any easier with Garry Ellender, CEO of Access Housing, claiming in the Fremantle Gazette that house prices in Fremantle are comparable to those in Sydney and affordability is a major concern for Freo.
Access Housing is a not-for-profit organisation and Ellender told the Gazette that “suburbs like Fremantle were not affordable for low to moderate-income earners.”
Apartments in Fremantle are on average costing $ 80,000 more than apartments in the Perth metro area and the median house price in the port city is now $ 800,000.
Unfortunately the City of Fremantle is on a downward trend as far as the mandatory requirement for affordable housing in new residential development goes, with Fremantle Council next week deciding if they should lower the mandatory 15 per cent to only 10 per cent because the 15 per cent is not commercially attractive for developers.
Garry Ellender however does not believe COF should lower the mandatory 15 per cent of affordable housing apartments, but instead urges developers to be more creative and innovative with their design.
Fremantle has always prided itself on its mixed-income multicultural population and lifestyle that can be enjoyed by workers and artists, yuppies and seniors, abled and disabled, rich and poor, and it would be a real shame if Fremantle became a city for middle to high income earners only, because eclectic diversity is what makes our city interesting and unique.
While I agree with those who write comments to say that affordable housing does not have to be in the very best locations, I warn against creating low-income out of sight ghettos away from participation and lifestyle, because developers don’t want to lower the quality of residents in their posh apartment blocks. As a society we do have a civic duty to look after those who are-often without their own fault-not well off.
Homeless people are increasingly becoming a problem in Fremantle and are invading properties at Arthur Head, sleep at Victoria Quay, the Post Office, Bathers Beach, Princess May Park, in doorways, etc. and we need to do much better looking after those people as well.