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Mobile housing solutions being considered for implementation in Northern NSW – Australia’s homelessness crisis

Dharma Care's Housing Solutions in Northern NSW

EXPLORING OPTIONS

Dharma Care Board members and the management team met at Sine Cera Rainforest Retreat in July to do some planning for the coming year. Our special guest was a major local donor towards a project we are developing aimed at providing temporary housing for the homeless.
 
Our donor has been assisting people in Kyogle impacted by the major flooding event in February this year. He has teamed up with Dharma Care to do even more to tackle homelessness in the area.
 
At the meeting we explored key themes and issues around homelessness, but maintained a strong focus on finding immediate solutions that we have the capability to deliver.

FINDING TEMPORARY HOUSING SOLUTIONS

The project we are developing will most likely focus on providing rented, transportable, short-term accommodation (3 – 6 mths) for the homeless, but will also include the provision of services occupants may need to move them forward in their lives.  For example, they might need assistance in identifying and dealing with government services, financial management, employment, or assistance to transfer to longer term accommodation. 
 
Dharma Care will develop collaborations with other charities and organisations to provide these services. We already have a range of great charities and specialist providers with whom we’d like to partner, but we are always open to work with anybody who would like to help.   
 
Dharma Care is already providing gift vouchers for food and household items as part of getting people back on their feet after the floods, so this will continue to be one of the supports we will provide.  You can donate here

This project will be developed with a view to making it replicable in other regional centres. It is important therefore to capture the key lessons learned, key resources and support organisations that are useful in assisting people to rebuild their lives. This information could include short videos, forms, how-to guides, resource links, help content including both practical and emotional support.

The project will explore transportable accommodation options such as buses, pods, mobile homes, expandable containers, but we are open to any options that might work and be cost effective.

If it’s a bus, we will definitely find a better one than this old timer. !

 

The first accommodation solution will most likely be located in Kyogle shire to take advantage of the new Council regulations that enable temporary accommodation units to be located on land for longer periods. Once established there, the regulations and possibilities in other shires, such as Tweed Shire, will also be explored.
 
Container-based accommodation offer some interesting possibilities.
 
 

In time we envisage having multiple short term accommodation solutions across a number of local regions.   

Are there any other innovative solutions you have seen? 

We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas.   We truly value your input and involvement.

If you would like to support this project

You can donate here. 

 

FINDING LONG-TERM HOUSING SOLUTIONS

As mentioned in our last blog post outlining the current homelessness crisis, Dharma Care is also working on a longer term project to develop a small MANUFACTURED HOUSING ESTATE close to Murwillumbah over the next few years.  
 
The MHE project we are planning on launching is currently scoped to include the following aspects.
 
  • It is a three-star development targeting low to middle income earners. This will not preclude someone purchasing a more expensive home.
  • It promotes independent living in a safe and secure setting that has shared recreational facilities to encourage an active and diverse lifestyle.
  • Its success (development and operation) will be dependent on transparent communication between stakeholders.
  • It will provide approximately 44 x 2-bed homes plus 6 x lower-cost bedsits or studios. This ratio may change as development is finalised.
  • Rental accommodation will also be available with the aim of keeping rents within the NSW government’s guideline of below 30% of income.