Innovation is creating sustainable, affordable options for all
Eddie Ma, cofounder of Vigilanti, a Sydney based social impact design agency says he and his co-founders were driven to problem solve the housing affordability crisis out of sheer frustration for the community.
“My mum currently lives in public housing, my extended family lives in community housing so I have first hand experience with how that system works, so all of those factors and my upbringing has contributed to my knowledge,” Eddie says.
Vigilanti has developed a blueprint for what they call an Equity Housing model that merges private, affordable and public housing together. The model addresses affordability through strategies such as leasehold options where people lease for the right to live in the property for a set number of years. Eddie and his cofounders have also developed an Urban Co-housing model that he says has the potential to have huge social and sustainability benefits.
“When you have a connected community you’re less likely to have depression, you’re more likely to stay active and for the elderly you’re less likely to have an accident where you’re unattended for a long period of time,” Eddie says.
“You also have the resources saving from a co-housing style of living. You’re sharing energy costs, you’re sharing cars. By having housing that’s designed to facilitate a co-housing lifestyle in the urban city it actually helps to reduce the lifestyle energy costs of the entire community.
“It’s about showing the government what’s possible.”
Although Vigilanti are still looking for funding and partners before they can implement their ideas, Eddie is optimistic about the future as are Tamara and Jeremy. They say Australian cities are offering a new opportunity – a chance to revise the density where we live.