Smaller Homes a Future Choice for Youth as Government Promotes Alternative Housing

The McGowan Government has claimed young WA homebuyers and renters are not aware of their housing options, as it promotes smaller homes as a revolution to WA’s housing market.

Housing Minister Peter Tinley said cheaper alternative housing choices including small homes and apartments needed to be offered to Western Australians, following the government’s plans to increase infill housing.

“We have to show leadership and get the variety,” Mr Tinley said.

“The industry also needs to provide an opportunity to make sure that we’re marketing to Western Australians particularly at the point when they leave home or they move out and they become independent or when they’re going through the life cycle.”

The State Government plans to build new housing around lifestyles, after trials conducted by not-for-profit housing organisation WA Apartments Advocacy (WAAA) found people were “less worried about the box they sleep in,” and more about the community they participated in.

It will also be built around communities including Metronet precincts.

“Just because you’re going through a smaller dwelling or you’re going through a more affordable dwelling simply means that you are wanting to access the community, not just where you stay,” Mr Tinley said.

He added smaller homes were a potential logical choice for many Western Australians.

“It’s going to be more affordable. It also is going to give more flexibility,” Mr Tinley said.

“The last thing you want now is a quarter acre block because we’re all very busy, the family dynamic has changed.”

“Both parents work, people are busy, looking for alternatives other than just mowing lawns.”

The State Government and the WAAA launched a program on Thursday to educate Western Australians about housing choice.

It will involve a model tiny home as a “classroom on wheels” that will travel around WA and the country, providing information about different housing options to increase flexibility for buyers and renters.

A three-month apartment living trial will also be held from February next year in Rivervale that has previously involved two-bedroom apartments.

Previous trials have resulted in 10 participants converting to smaller home living.

WAAA Director Samantha Reece said it was important to emphasise choice over housing size.

“This apartment or this tiny home may not be your choice, but actually for some people is their choice,” Ms Reece said.

“We actually advocate that bigger is not better, my choice is better.”

She said the State Government and housing groups needed to provide alternate housing choices if they were available.

“It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, if that’s what you would like to live in, we should be providing that choice,” Ms Reece said.

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