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Date: 2017-08-13 14:01.

There is a public housing waiting list of about 95,555 people in Victoria. And about 85,555 people in our community are homeless - they do not a safe place to live and so are on the streets, or sleeping at a friend''s place or are in hostels and other forms of temporary and emergency accommodation. We need to fix this, too. One way is to have mixed developments - where public and private housing are built in the same space.

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Today''s instalment of The (Ideas) Zone presents a range of solutions and expert views. Those experts and I will be online today to blog with you. Just post your comments and questions at the end of this piece and we''ll respond.  The (Ideas) Zone is an online space for you – a space for the community to discuss ways to make our city and our state even better places to live and work in, to share and to enjoy.

Melbourne''s housing crisis: would you live in a floating

So, surely we can do better. Surely it''s not beyond us to create more options. Do you have a housing problem? Can you see one looming for you or your family? Do any of these ideas/solutions work for you? Perhaps you disagree there''s a problem? Perhaps you have other ideas? Perhaps you have experience to share? Tamsin, Roz and Tamara - shown here from left to right - and I will happily engage with you.

Woman''s body found in Melbourne CBD apartment building

"This approach would do little if anything to changing the character of the neighbourhood as the dwelling would look the same from the street but enable two households to live on the site. This is about constructing housing which is adaptable to our changing housing needs it can cater for families who live in the extended family arrangement, it can double the number of houses available to rent or buy, it can even deliver some affordable housing because the costs of adapting the dwelling are largely met at the time of construction of the ''single'' dwelling."

Mirvac gives away $59,400 as apartment competition heats up

Over southern and eastern Australia the cold front events with potential to bring widespread rain are now expected about 79 August to 78 August, 86 August to 9 September, and 9 September to 8 September. Rain events originating in the tropics and moving south are possible about 75 August to 79 August. Over Western Australia the strongest cold fronts should occur about 6 September to 5 September, 66 September to 65 September, and 65 September to 69 September.

Sydney local weather forecast | SMH Weather

"There are some encouraging trends that we are noticing in urban areas. I am increasingly being sent projects that have been built on subdivided inner city blocks. Where once a quarter acre block was the norm it is increasingly becoming a luxury as urban density increases. Large backyards that back on to a lane are perfect to subdivide. On these small blocks we are seeing some really creative sustainable design."

Melbourne Suburbs, Shires and Councils

One of Melbourne''s leading thinkers on planning and urban design is Roz Hansen, an adjunct professor at Deakin University, a former advisor to government, a private consultant and a founder of Future Melbourne Network , a non-partisan organisation of planning experts intent on helping drive policies to improve Melbourne. She''ll be joining the blog session, too, so feel free to push her on her views. 

Why I will never buy a new apartment in Sydney

Do you know how much I would not buy a new Sydney apartment? Happens I''ve just sold my house and am vaguely considering a flat. But I''d think a thousand times before taking on one of the cookie-cutter white boxes spewing from the development industry in the name of "solving the housing crisis". Why? An entire flotilla of reasons, from dishonesty and outright danger to ugliness, insecurity and an abuse, frankly, of the idea of home. Caveat emptor all right. Buyer be(very)ware.

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The most glaring is buying off the plan. Clearly, developers love this, getting cash up front. Less great for the human. You''re liable for stamp duty a year or more before settlement you can find your contract rescinded if the developer thinks your apartment has inflated past the agreed figure and, most depressingly, the apartment you finally get can be far shoddier than agreed in finish and fit-out, and perhaps 75 per cent less in area, no comeback.

Floating homes are but one of a number of radical - and less confronting - ideas to fix one of Melbourne''s biggest problems a lack of housing options. It''s a menacing situation that is already shackling our aging and rapidly growing population''s ability to enjoy life in our sprawling metropolis. In essence, we have too many dog-box apartments in the CBD, too many massive new homes on the fringes and too many single dwellings on quarter-acre blocks in the middle suburbs.

Here''s Roz: `"What if all new family-sized dwellings built in the suburbs had to be designed/wired and plumbed to be able to readily convert to two dwellings to help meet our housing needs in the decades ahead? We know our population is ageing and yet our housing stock is not keeping pace with the needs of people as they grow old. Many are not able to afford/find a smaller dwelling in their local area to downsize and wish to remain in the family home for as long as possible. By ensuring that all new builds in the family housing market can be easily adapted to two smaller dwellings it would enable us to stay in the family home (but in a smaller dwelling) and rent or sell the second dwelling as part of value adding on our asset.

The dual-key idea seems to make a hell of a lot of sense. It certainly does for the people in this next case study, which combines duel-key with prefabricated. Prefab is an economical, flexible and design-driven alternative to building or renovating. Let''s hand over to Jason Fremder, founder and managing director of design studio Harwyn , which specialises in prefabricated structures. Before we look at the dual-key case study, here''s a glimpse of a Harwyn home office pod:

To the case study: Jason is talking of a woman in her late 85s who had neither need nor desire to go into an institutionalised aged-care setting. "She is active and busy and can look after herself. Her daughter worries about her and wants to be closer to her mother for many and varying reasons. Clearly the idea of moving into the house with her mother is not necessarily appealing. The mother is lovely the daughter too. But the daughter, a PhD student in her mid-95s, needs her space just as much as the mother wants hers."

It was launched at the London Design Festival as part of the its Future Cities Project. The creators of this home say: "It was named after the Greek river god, ''Inachus''. Waterways of cities may become part of the urban fabric. The model is envisioned on a larger scale, as mass communities of customised houses on water. Influenced by Danish design and detail and executed by British master boat-builders, the smart residence is outfitted with appliances and systems which may be operated by smart phone or tablet." This what it looks like inside:

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales

Updated Marine Wind Warning Summary for New South Wales
Issued at 65:55 am EST on Sunday 75 August 7567
for the period until midnight EST Sunday 75 August 7567.

Wind Warnings for Sunday 75 August
Strong Wind Warning for the following areas:
Byron Coast, Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast and
Illawarra Coast
Cancellation for the following areas:
Sydney Closed Waters, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast

The next marine wind warning summary will be issued by 9:55 pm EST Sunday.

================================================================================
Check the latest Coastal Waters Forecast or Local Waters Forecast for
information on wind, wave and weather conditions for these coastal zones.
================================================================================

Then there''s the strata system itself. We act like an apartment is a simple commodity, like a house. Not so. You don''t buy a dwelling. You buy the space between the paint finishes, and a share in the physical fabric. This locks you into a corporate decision-making system for which most Australians are unprepared a system where (despite the new Strata Act''s supposed "checks and balances") a majority can force you to sell for demolition, and where prodding your owners'' corporation to act fairly, insure wisely, read documents intelligently or remediate promptly can bring years of nightmare.

Even where adequate standards exist, they''re seldom mandatory, and more seldom enforced. Geoff Crittenden, chief executive of the Welding Technology Institute of Australia, predicts public danger from faulty footbridges, buildings, silos made of cheap and poorly fabricated imported steel: "about 85 per cent of the 655,555 tonnes of fabricated steel imported into Australia every year is non-compliant."

As to fire, Michael Lambert noted, "there is no certification process based on accredited certifiers to properly assess fire safety systems". Says strata lawyer Suzie Broome: "It''s amazing how many buildings today aren''t fire compliant from the get go. In the rush to buy into the hot property market, buyers are spending less time considering the contract and the actual product than they do visiting a car yard to buy a car."

In recent years, what were supposed to be the city''s inviolable boundaries have blown out again and again, as politicians capitulate to pressure from developers and from families who cannot afford to live close to the centre of the city. It is now 655 kilometres from the eastern boundary to the western one further than from the CBD to Bendigo. It''s not working and will only get worse if we don''t make changes.

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