GOING OUTSIDE THE BOX TO BOOST HOUSING

21 June 2024

UPDATE: This home is now open to the public from midday to 1:00pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

An innovative new home has landed in the Central Highlands to get employers and aspiring homeowners thinking outside the box.

The two-bedroom cottage, made from prefabricated components, has been installed, furnished, and landscaped on a vacant lot in Emerald within two days.

The home is located on 66 Church Lane (between Borilla and Opal Streets, at the golf course end) and was open to the public today (21 June).

Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) CEO Peter Dowling says the project aims to give local business, industry and individuals a tangible experience of a home that’s used modern methods of construction (MCC).

“Material shortages and a lack of skilled labour are making it difficult for our region to build homes fast enough for the demand,” Mr Dowling says.

“The idea of this project is to expose the community to an alternative pathway to housing that bypasses those roadblocks of traditional building techniques.

“Many people are probably familiar with kit homes and holiday cabins, but I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the exceptional construction qualities of this property and realise just how far off-site building technology has come.”

The project is a collaboration between CHDC, Duke Housing, Kestrel Coal Resources and Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC), and part of the Central Highlands Workforce Development and Accommodation Strategy (WDAS).

“A key mission for Duke Housing is to help ease Queensland’s housing affordability crisis so we’re thrilled to be part of this project for the Central Highlands,” Duke Housing CEO Ben McGrath says.

“We’re especially keen to provide staff housing to large employers because that could make a real difference in freeing up other properties in this region.”

Kestrel Coal Resources is also proud to have played an active role in the project.

“We are impressed at how quickly a vacant block can turn into a fully-furnished small home!” Kestrel Manager People and Culture Sharyn Larsen says.

“This is an opportunity to share with our Central Highlands community some of the great, affordable housing options for our rapidly growing region.”

The home aligns with the WDAS’ focus on MMCs and its Build 12 in 12, a campaign to construct a dozen new homes inside 12 months in the Central Highlands.

“We hope the Church Lane property is a visual assurance to the public that housing supply is front of mind for CHDC and many other stakeholders and there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work underway in this space,” Mr Dowling says.

The display home will continue to be open to the public by appointment via enquiries@chdc.com.au.

The WDAS is an action plan to help the region realise its full potential as a fantastic place to live, work, invest, and play.

More information can be found at chdc.com.au.

(Left – right) Ben McGrath (Duke Housing), Deb Barns (CHDC), Councillor Gai Sypher (CHRC and CHDC), Bhavin Patel (Duke Housing), Sharyn Larsen (Kestrel Coal Resources) and Peter Dowling (CHDC) at a display home built using modern methods of construction.