Taking on homelessness with moveable houses and vacant blocks

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 08:04:02 AM. An innovative project has found a way to provide urgently needed housing on land that would otherwise be left vacant for years.
Photo: The Ballarat Road project will transform vacant land into housing for people at risk of homelessness. (Supplied: Schored Architects) An innovative project designed to house people at risk of homelessness will soon deliver 57 transportable homes across nine sites in Melbourne's inner west. Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved the social housing project on Ballarat Road last week. The proponent is Launch Housing, a Victoria-based community organisation that provides housing and homelessness support services. The addition of 57 dwellings for vulnerable Melburnians is valuable in its own right, particularly given the rapid increase in the numbers of people sleeping rough in Melbourne. However, it is the potential for expanding the concept that makes the project so exciting. I started researching this project and interviewing the key stakeholders earlier this year. Several elements embedded in the Ballarat Road project represent both innovative and scalable responses to Australia's urgent social and affordable housing needs. Elements of an innovative solution Innovation rarely results in an entirely unprecedented idea, product or service. More often it recombines existing elements in novel ways to create a new solution. In the Ballarat Road case, all the elements of the project already existed. It is the interaction between the involved partners, the design and construction techniques and the land leasing arrangements that make it so interesting. The...Read more
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