Housing the Dream II

On 30 November 2018, Shelter WA began an ambitious project. It brought together people to task them with a dream scenario. If you were to have no hinderance or impediments what would be the ingredients needed to make an effective housing system for all?

Eagerly thoughts and scenarios were placed down on paper by the participants.

But in the next part of the session, the real work began. 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.

Since that first session both Lisa Kazalac and Shelter WA Policy Officer, Klaudia Mierswa consolidated all the thoughts and ideas into a shared vision. This was done by analysing every piece of input and comment, categorising them and then identifying themes which were grouped and organised.

It was in this follow-up Housing the Dream workshop session the consolidated vision was articulated, and further feedback was invited.

Klaudia Mierswa in her presentation outlined the following.

What is your vision of an effective housing system?
• Through the analysis of your input, seven themes emerged on how your effective housing system should look like.

A. Definition of home
• There must be a rethinking about housing. Housing must be a part of a wellness eco-system. Furthermore housing, should be our home, a place where we thrive, and not just pure commodity.

B. How should it feel and look like?
• There was a clear consensus on how housing should feel and look like. Your effective housing system should offer housing that is adaptive, affordable, safe, secure and stable.

C. Human-led approach
• Another important aspect, that emerged, was that an effective housing system should follow a human-led approach. We should have the choice and self-determination to decide what we want and where we want to live.
• Furthermore, an effective housing system should be responsive to everyone’s need and should be tailored to individuals.
• Finally, housing should be embedded within a support system, that provides wrap-around services. It should support and enable people to choose their own vision for how they want to live.

D. Liveability
• Another important aspect, that you pointed out would be crucial within an effective housing system is liveability. The places that we live in should be convenient and of a multi-use nature. The place that we live in, should be walkable. People should be able to live near where they work, study and volunteer.

E. Community connectedness
• We are individuals, but an effective housing system should create community connectedness. Not only people are connected, but housing should also provide the opportunity to connect.

F. Economic viability
• Besides this, an important part of your effective housing is economic viability. Housing is an infrastructure and we should be able to invest in it. We should be subsiding people and things who need it, and this should be done by banks and finance systems that are wise and ethical.

G. WA context
• Finally, an effective housing system should consider the special characteristics of Western Australia, it should be tailored to work for all, metro-regional and remote.

Shelter WA will continue to seek feedback on the Housing the Dream consolidated vision through a Regional WA roll out which will take place this year.

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