Loading awesome Rothelowman stuff


Media | Principal Kylee Schoonens advocates for temporary short term housing solutions to accommodate construction and key workers, accelerating the delivery of long-term affordable housing in Perth.


This article was originally published in www.thewest.com.au written by Kim Macdonald.

Could FIFO-style camps for tradies in Perth help to solve the housing crisis

▲ Mineral Resources has changed the face of WA FIFO camps. Could the same camp-style concept help to bring tradies to Perth? Credit: Mineral Resources/Mineral Resources

Perth property leader Kylee Schoonens has called on the housing industry to follow the lead of the resource sector and create fly-in, fly-out-style worker camps in Perth to accommodate desperately-needed tradies.

Ms Schoonens, WA principal of national architecture firm Rothelowman and chair of the Landgate board, suggested the State Government to facilitate development of master-planned communities on Crown land that would feature temporary granny flat-style homes rather than dongas.

She said it would help address the chronic undersupply of homes amid the desperately low rental vacancy rate of about one per cent, as well as the years-long wait list for social housing.

Ms Schoonens said temporary worker camps were considered a necessary expenditure ahead of any major resource project, with mining companies using them to compete for national and international workers.

“We need to create short-term housing to accelerate construction for long-term supply.”

While the State Government’s $11 million tradie visa scheme that aimed to attract 1100 workers had fallen flat — with only 114 tradies in Perth on the visa, partly because of delays in the Federal Government’s visa processing system — Ms Schoonens said many were avoiding Perth because there was nowhere to live.

Interstate workers were also reluctant to move west because of the chronic shortage of rentals.


▲ Rothelowman WA principal kylee Schoonens

Ms Schoonens said the homes should be decent quality, but built with light-weight materials for a 10 to 15-year lifespan.She said undeveloped Metronet land or lazy land sites owned by the government would provide cheap and suitable locations for the proposed worker villages. Ideally, the camps would be peppered across the metropolitan area, with the tradies to work on both private and government housing projects.

“If we have construction worker villages, it will help with the government’s social and affordable housing program, too,” she said.

Ms Schoonens conceded she had not done costings on the homes, but previous research provided by the Property Council of Australia shows prefabricated granny flats can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000 when it made a similar suggestion for towns of tiny homes on government land.

She praised the State Government for planning reforms which she said had made the building process among the quickest and easiest in the country, but said it needed to consider more options to address the housing crisis. The private market also had a role to play in delivering housing quickly, she said.

“It is a complex issue naturally but a whole raft of issues need to be undertaken,” she said.