Tiny Homes Australia
Janine has been interested in tiny homes since 2006 when read an article on a small house less than 2m wide being built along the side yard of a home in an established US city. And it is this little home that sparked her interest.
She wondered who would live in such a small space, where would they put all their ‘stuff’, how did they get planning permission, who owns the land the tiny house sits on, is there a separate property title etc. These questions got parked until she saw an image of a conversion of a small grain silo, into a house and loved how ingenious people were being to create a shelter for themselves.
Fast forward a few years and now we are seeing and hearing about the ‘Tiny House movement’, that was initiated in the US and now gaining significant interest in Australia. Some common principles of the Tiny house movement are: people choosing to downsize the space they live in; live more simply in connection with their environment; reduce their reliance on living pay to pay; and to live with a lighter environmental footprint.
You might have also heard of the ‘Minimalist’ movement, which shares common goals with the Tiny House movement of people de-cluttering their lives and living more simply, and making conscious decisions on their purchasing of goods. Both tiny housing and minimalist living are a lifestyle choice for some in our society and it is growing, and as an environmentalist Janine is excited to hear of people wanting to make a step change towards reducing their environmental footprint or seek alternative housing. But it didn’t end there.
In parallel with the concept of tiny homes, Janine has had a strong interest in the housing of people for the last 15 years. This was developed whilst working at the Housing Industry Association and she realised there were many pressures on bringing affordable housing onto the market, whilst meeting the needs of a growing and changing society.
Tiny homes provide welcome answers to a number of society’s snowballing problems. A growing number of people are experiencing emergency accommodation, short term housing, house sharing, couch surfing, car camping and homelessness. Whilst at the same time we are witnessing: increase in new house sizes, with fewer occupants and smaller lot sizes; rise of premium apartment construction; gentrification of inner city areas; closure of public housing; rise in demand for social housing; closure of caravan parks within suburban areas; and restrictive planning and local laws that fail to embrace diverse housing options.
Janine is of the view that we need to provide a diverse housing mix that responds to our societal needs, and we need to reduce regulatory barriers and support those seeking an alternative housing option.
Janine was motivated to design and build a prototype tiny home that is lightweight, thermally efficient and easy to construct.
She has now created a tiny house kit. The kits are available in 6m or 7.2m kit system, with construction plan or larger sizes can be discussed. If tiny houses are of interest to you then check out Tiny Houses Australia for more details or come and try tiny house living on Airbnb.