Housing the Dream

“Climate change." 

This issue came up in discussion at Shelter WA’s Housing the Dream workshop, designed to conceptualise what an effective housing system looks like for WA, and the pathways to get there. 

When asked what factors could affect a housing system in 2050, climate change was real. Identifying issues was one of several tasks which kept conversation and ideas flowing freely among participants, so much so they almost missed morning tea. 

The workshop, which explored the ingredients of an effective housing system, harnessed the energy of attendees to understand external and macro factors that will impact on their housing dream.

One of the scenarios from a group discussion questioned whether planning and zoning, an outcome of the Industrial Revolution, would be needed into the future, or could planning go the way of the dodo…and this came from an urban planner!

Other scenarios discussed included:

  • Population growth
  • Demographic changes
  • Changing household compositions
  • Metropolitan vs regional growth across WA
  • New technologies to match housing supply to need
  • New adaptive and responsive housing typologies
  • Housing in an urban context - well designed, diverse connected and interconnected villages close to amenities and services
  • The impact of new building materials
  • Culturally appropriate housing
  • A better society – with a stable and long-lived community vision based on sustainability and equity for all

After filling up a whiteboard of uncertain future elements participants were asked to craft what 2050 looks like by bringing the scenarios and vision together.    

As Shelter WA Consultant, Advocacy and Policy Lisa Kazalac put it, “The aspirational vision you created, how are we going to achieve that in 2050 when we have all of these uncertainties?” she said.

“We might need policy, regulatory changes, I want you to think what the priorities are and how do we change the current system to achieve our aspirational vision and provide solutions.”

Given the challenge the groups went back to work to navigate pitfalls which could come in the way of achieving their housing dream. This would become the most challenging part of the session.

In the feedback session some participants argued a disconnect between state and local government as a key challenge, expressing concern the relationship limited progress in several areas. For example, stamp duty costs every time a person moved around multiple locations was determined as a hinderance, along with and lack of vision when it comes to planning provisions. A key concern raised was community values around the need for an effective housing system for all people.

Watch the Video Here

Shelter WA is consolidating feedback from the workshop into a narrative for an effective housing system and a roadmap to get there. The Housing the Dream workshop will be travelling to regional WA in 2019.

Look out for these workshops where Shelter WA will harness more ideas and inspiration to develop an effective housing system for all West Australians.

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