Can we do more on social housing? YES! We can!

September 26, 2021 BY

Big ideas: A letter writer sees villages of tiny homes as part of the solution to a lack of public housing. Photo: FILE



Dear Editor,

While I appreciate the thoughtful comments expressed Michaela Settle’s opinion piece published in the Ballarat Times 2 September, I am left wondering exactly what is the plan and what more she is going to do about social housing.

Saying “the government” (isn’t that who she is?) needs to work with developers, local government and community housing groups to find answers, begs the question: have you contacted these bodies to arrange discussions?

Here’s one suggestion: most, if not all, Federal, State and local governments have spare land which could be used for public housing.

Tiny houses are an extremely low-cost option and by utilising vacant public land, villages for homeless and desperate folk who need accommodation could be established in regional areas.

With community laundries, barbecue gazebos and residents establishing neighbourhood gardens, such mini villages would promote tenants’ physical and mental health and add to the diversity and prosperity of small towns.

And another idea: how many motels are either on the brink of closure or are struggling to continue as viable businesses since various lockdowns have made trips to the country off limits?

What about the three levels of government offering to buy such properties and turn them into public housing?

They could so easily and cheaply be converted into extremely liveable units for disabled and homeless people, especially the older women cohort, which nationwide, is the fastest-growing group of homeless.

As a former elected councillor, I considered part of my job description was to think of and find solutions for my constituents’ problems… practical solutions, not “we can do more” – with no answers.

You can do more, Ms Settle, and I am happy to discuss my suggestions if you so wish.



Sandra Kay Patton

(78 years old and living in a motorhome for 11 years)

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