11/07 Tiny house challenges in Australia

Tiny house under construction

Tiny house under construction. Photo from Gumtree.

The tiny house movement refers to the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in very small homes. There is currently no set definition of what constitutes a tiny house, however, a residential structure under 30m2 (and often they’re a lot smaller) is a widely accepted definition. Money consciousness isn’t the central reason for building or buying these homes, but rather plays a minor role in what is more accurately defined as a lifestyle change.

In some cases, people buying land for agriculture, growing their own produce and raising livestock, and parking the home on it. The tiny homes movement advocates practicing self-sustenance and living off-the-grid, away from the constraints of urban living. With the ever increasing Sydney house market, this alternative way of living has appealed to people seeking to adopt minimal, eco-friendly lives.

At age 28, Hannah Langley* is part of a small demographic of young home owners in Australia. Her hair touches her waist and she wears long skirts, a 60’s style she wears proudly.

“I’ve got everything you’ve got and in my opinion, more. I’ve got a roof, four walls, a kitchen, toilet, bed, desk, closet. And most importantly I have the world’s best backyard- which is wherever I want, really!”

Adhering to council regulations, a tiny house must be 2.4m x 4.3m x 7m at most in order to fit on a trailer and safely ride on a road.

“Council restrictions are a problem because they don’t consider the house substantial enough for a plot of land, but refuse to consider a new set of restrictions,” she said. “You’re trying to build a home, which is as worthwhile and safe as any other, yet these size restrictions and codes can get in the way.”

Hume Council sustainability city director Kelvin Walsh told the Herald Sun the council’s planning schemes had exemptions for planning approval of tiny houses, but it depended on where they were built, the zoning, and whether they are the first or second dwelling on the sight.

“Council advocates for the provision of a range of housing types to meet the diverse needs of the Hume community,” he said.

Read more – https://countercultureunearthed.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/big-ideas-tiny-homes/

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Elaine Walker

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