Housing crisis

Dozens of tiny homes proposed for Sunshine Coast as housing crisis worsens

A builder leading a social housing project in the Sunshine Coast hinterland described the area’s housing crisis as “scary” and said more action on the ground was needed.

Greg Phipps has been building modular homes since 2007.

Now Noosa Council has accepted his application to build 34 small modular homes on a six-acre block in Cooroy as part of a private social housing scheme.

Mr Phipps said he took action after seeing how bad the housing crisis had become in the area.

“There’s just no action on the pitch now and it’s been going on for so long,” he said.

Mr Phipps said the project would consist of 20 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom houses within walking distance of Cooroy town centre.

Mr Phipps said the severity of the crisis prompted him to act.(Provided: Greg Phipps)

He said it wasn’t about making money, it was about meeting a need in the community.

“We were getting so many requests from the general public at all levels for affordable housing and housing,” Mr Phipps said.

“It presented itself as a potential opportunity to provide an emergency response to a crisis.

“It’s about providing an emergency response.”

A small wooden house.
The plan for the houses is to build the houses within walking distance of the heart of Cooroy.(Provided: Eco Cottages)

“No bills” to pay

Mr Phipps says the Eco Cottage project on Carpenter Road in Cooroy will be fully self-sufficient using solar power and water tanks.

“Anyone who lives in the houses will not have bills,” he said.

Artist's impression of a modular home.
Eco Cottages has won preliminary council approval to build 34 small modular homes as part of a social housing scheme.(Provided: Eco Cottages)

Mr Phipps said he had already had discussions with non-profit groups and registered housing providers to help those most in need.

He said the project would cost more than $3 million and rental rates would have to be worked out with registered housing providers who would nominate potential tenants.

He said he hoped the project could serve as a pilot for what might be done in other areas.

“We made it clear to the board that they would not be in the private market, we would only deal with nonprofits, Mr Phipps said.

“St Vincent De Paul and Coast to Bay Housing are very supportive of what we have offered.”

Noosa Council is expected to publish a draft plan in the coming days to deal with the housing crisis in the area.

‘The housing strategy aims to set out a clear plan for housing in Noosa County through to 2041,’ a council report said.

“The strategy aims to ensure that there is the right amount of housing, of the right type and size, in the right place and with the right tenure, for our community.”

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The Maroochydore Neighborhood Center said it was seeing between five and six people a day in crisis.

A bald man with a white mustache and a green polo shirt in front of an angry bear mural.
Michael Henning, CEO of the Maroochy Neighborhood Center.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Ollie Wykeham)

Chief executive Michael Henning welcomed the state government’s plan to build 1,200 social and affordable housing units over the next seven years, but said action needed to be taken immediately.

“To just do that, ‘Woohoo…we’re putting in a lot more money and building more housing,’ that’s good,” he said.

“It’s going to be an ongoing thing, but this one-off type situation isn’t helping at all.

A blonde woman with glasses in a formal dress is sitting in a corporate office.
Aimee McVeigh says the social housing partnership is good news.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

Queensland Council of Social Services chief executive Aimee McVee said the announcement was great news.

‘Isn’t it absolutely fantastic to see the state government partnering with a wonderful community organization, Brisbane Housing Company,’ she said.

“It shows that the interest generated by the housing investment fund can provide homes for people who are currently experiencing housing insecurity.”

But she warned that the 1,200 homes to be built under the plan would be a “drop in the ocean”.

“We are in the midst of a housing crisis,” she said.

“It’s clearly not enough, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Job , updated