Across Invercargill alone there are many hundreds of homeless people, living in government rented accommodation at a high price, being fed, clothed & sheltered by tax payer money. It is good to have social services, but this needs to be rethought.
While some live in caravans, cars & on he streets – most are staying temporarily in massively overpriced government funded accomodation.
Council building departments should focus on non-regulatory services as mentioned in the Local Government Act – which provide educational resources & a supportive/advisory approach to small building projects. Instead of elevating regulatory red tape procedures & building inspections – we should be looking at ways to empower local people to create small buildings & using local timber, local resources, reused industrial waste, new technology to create small buildings owned by the occupier that go on private & public land.
When we take responsibility for building our own futures, we become more well & contented, balanced & grounded.
Housing is a huge topic, because everyone really needs a home..
Not only is there an international shortage of houses, but Southland & Otago face the common global challenge of dealing with dated housing stocks & associated services.
Many of the houses that our people live in, with their connections to water, sewerage & storm-water are now reaching, or exceeding the age of 100 years. This means that they are deteriorating at the core & no longer structurally sound or waterproof. Compared to the rest of the world, we are very fortunate in the South of New Zealand to have small populations & great wealth.
House prices are an issue however, even for those most fortunate (as is the cost of living). But what can we do about our poor? How can the middle class & rich even manage?! On some level all people struggle to maintain balanced living & a high standard of housing! Any person who has built a home, or been involved in the construction of a new dwelling knows that it is immensely time consuming, expensive & stressful to complete a new build.
A large part of the solution is small buildings. Small buildings are permanent structures that support an existing dwelling.
Small buildings can have various uses. They are bedrooms, lounge rooms, art & project spaces, workshops, distribution spaces, offices, or can have any other purpose!
Oftentimes small buildings are less than 100 times cheaper to build than your average home is! They are deliciously warm, easy to manage & comfortable.
Let’s start a dialogue about housing in the South, & how we will solve it, even in these testing times..
AUTHOR: Stevey Chernishov