A new Gosford development providing small, affordable homes to the homeless opens its doors to the public today.
For the past 18 months, the Tiny Homes Foundation has been building four small homes, a common lounge and community gardens at Racecourse road. They've employed local dole recipients and tradies in the process.
Project Manager Kellie Parkin says the development is believed to be one of the first of its kind in Australia, and sets an example for how to ease homelessness and improve housing affordability.
"We really want to show that with some goodwill and commitment to making a difference to homelessness, this can definitely fit that mix," Ms Parkin says.
"Tiny homes don't very neatly fit into planning codes, so we've had to work through those to ensure there's a nice clear path for other groups to do what we've done."
"We've had quite a few Councils from across Australia who've been watching the project to see how it progresses, and how the relationship with builder, developer and landowner plays out."
Ms Parkin also says the THF hopes to start work on another project on the Central Coast later this year.
With construction wrapped up, Pacific Link and Coast Shelter will now select the first tenants that will live in the new dinky dwellings. They'll likely move in next month.
Ms Parkin says the houses will appeal to very specific tenants, such as single men and elderly women.
"I've had feedback from support services saying they've found long-term homeless people can find conventional housing more difficult to transition back to, rather than something so neat and tidy that invites you outside - these homes are designed to do that."
We can check out the development between 10am and 2pm, while the official launch with supporters took place yesterday.
The number of homeless Coasties is estimated to be in the thousands.