This edition of The Chronicle has some grand plans for you to contemplate as the Progress Association considers its purpose, place and potential within our community. A facilitated forum is planned for Saturday 28 Nov (face to face) and Monday 30 Nov (online) to explore a local collaborative housing opportunity, Bush Blocks, and what we as a community can do to shape the place we call home.
In 1946 our community purchased land and built a hall which has provided a shared space and common ground for locals for 74 years. We are hoping to mobilise the same community spirit to once again fashion our community for the future, by exploring a collaborative housing model to build homes where people share common ground, common spaces, common assets and a common attitude to treading lightly and minimising their impact on the local bushland and the planet.
The ridgeline of our peninsula is becoming an increasingly fragmented remnant wildlife/ecological community, as its connection to the wider bushland to the West is eroded by development. Looking at the DAs In Play and those in the pipeline it’s not hard to see that this trend is continuing, with local multi-dwelling development on the rise. The combination of our profit-driven economy and Council planning instruments is leading to large blocks with beautiful trees being transformed into dense concrete and brick constructions, with little consideration for the social aspects needed when people live in close proximity.
The Progress Association would like to explore and implement an alternative multi-dwelling model that is founded on building community resilience, innovative community focussed design, and smart, small and sustainable housing, ideally built by local trades people from local suppliers, aiming to accommodate dwellings on existing bushland blocks - without unduly compromising the role of those blocks as a wildlife connection corridor along the peninsula for our threatened species and the common ones.
“Collaborative housing is a movement that’s revolutionising the way homes are designed, built, lived in and valued. It encourages participation, sharing and community-building, while recognising that every household wants privacy, security and financial autonomy.” https://www.collaborativehousing.org.au/
Doing development differently, without a profit driven margin, reduces building costs and provides a community driven alternative to downsizing whilst supporting local construction businesses to take advantage of the growing sustainability/retrofitting sector and strengthening our community’s resilience against future shocks arising from climate change.
With interest rates at an all-time low and the Reserve Bank holding them there for at least the next three years, the Progress Association is keen to nurture the initiation of a community driven collaborative housing model to provide an additional housing option that respects the local community and protects the local environment.
A parcel of land at 20 Laycock St, behind the Carey Bay preschool, is currently on the market. This provides a rare opportunity to enter the collaborative housing market, whilst also building a local knowledge bank and a transferable model to deliver a new housing option for our community.
The land at 20 Laycock St site is on the market for $1.6million. It has an approved DA which can be modified to reflect the aspirations and intent of the people wanting to be involved in the collaborative housing project.
The CPPA is seeking:
- Ethical investors and philanthropists to support the project. Here’s a proposal document which outlines the idea. It will be updated as more detail develops.
- Potential owners wanting to build and own a residence within the community. There’s a survey, Register of Interest, so we can keep in touch.
- Supporters willing to offer time and expertise in fields of architecture, legal, finance, trades, town planning etc. The Register of Interest survey will gather your offers.
- Members and donors willing to support the community driven aspects of the proposal, such as the facilitated conversations, and an end of year fundraising campaign, there’s a donation page where you can make a contribution.
Gatherings of InterestA professionally facilitated forum by The Change Agency’s James Whelan will explore the collaborative housing model and gauge local interest in progressing the idea and what local support is available. Face to face and online meetings will be held.
Saturday 28 Nov. 1-4pm Face to face at Progress Hall The COVID capacity of the hall is 30, RSVPs are essential via the booking page.
Where to go to find out more or get in touch ?A Collaborative Housing - Bush Blocks webpage has been set up on the CPPA site as a place to share and update information and resources.
Collaborative living is a new way of thinking about home, work, community and how we live our daily lives. Inspired by demographic and social change, it is also a response to rising living costs, the housing affordability crisis, the ‘loneliness epidemic’ and the growing ecological footprint of cities.
Collaborative living is about building stronger communities by emphasising social connection and looking for beneficial ways to share resources and pool skills. The sharing economy is one example of collaborative living, collaborative housing is another.
A CPPA ‘Bush Blocks’ sub-committee has been formed to explore and scope the concept of a sustainable collaborative housing project, if you’d like to get involved please get in touch.
A personal declaration of interest in collaborative housing- Suzanne Pritchard
I’ve met the owner on several occasions as various development plans were put forward and I started planting out my backyard to buffer the inevitable, but as the trees next door were felled my heart broke and I began to question if there was another way of doing development. I started buying lottery tickets.
Thinking about alternatives to density dominated development is something I do every time I wash the dishes and gaze out my window, every day when I’m in my garden, wondering how an individual can make a difference. Every month when I write the Chronicle and compile the ever-expanding list of DAs in Play I think about how can we do development differently, every time I put pen to paper to comment on behalf of the CPPA on the next multi-dwelling DA creating community concern. It’s really no surprise that eventually a solution popped into my head.
I’ve been the president of the Progress Association for 25 years. I joined up to protect the awe-inspiring bushland that I had the good fortune to live amongst, and in doing so learned that you can’t care for trees without caring for people. The skills I’ve learned and the knowledge I’ve gained has significantly shaped my personal and professional life, and my outlook on the community.
It would appear that perhaps everything I’ve done has put me in the right place at the right time to do something, to make a difference, beyond my back fence, for the benefit of many and the beautiful bushland that I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience and enjoy for so many years.
As the President of the CPPA I’ve been forced to assess the organisation’s relevance within the community and the untapped potential of the asset it owns. As a daughter of ageing parents I see the need for living arrangements that support and connect people to friends and provide security of accommodation. As a neighbour to a community changing development I have the motivation to contribute to a different vision.
I realise some people may think that personal interest is at play. Rest assured the collaborative housing proposal can be applied anywhere, it’s just that my place in the community and the roles I serve have allowed me to see there are other options out there. With everything that has happened locally and globally this year, and with 20 Laycock St up for sale, now seems like a really good time to do something about making a lasting positive change.
My personal plan is to this this through, I’m looking forward to ensuring the relevance of the Progress Association within our community. I want to be part of the solution. I want to make the highly improbable possible or at least give it my best shot. I do believe the world is changing, there’s growing recognition we have to do things differently and collaborative housing appears to be a step in the right direction.
I hope you can join me on Saturday Nov 28 or Monday 30 Nov to talk it through and see if we’ve got what it takes to make our community thrive into the future.