A $23,000 miniature home is up for sale in Redfern this weekend
By ROBBIE MASON
An eco-friendly trailer home, styled a “Tiny House”, is going to auction this Sunday at the inaugural Festival of Repair in Redfern, as Sydneysiders rush to find cheaper, more environmentally-sustainable, living options. Bidding will start at $23,000.
The green DIY festival at 107 Projects in Redfern, supported by the City of Sydney Council and organised by the Bower Reuse & Repair Centre, will feature a market on Saturday, workshops and demonstrations from repair experts and an art exhibition. There will also be an Antiques Roadshow style opportunity where an expert antiques and jewellery valuer, John Swanton, will assess precious items. Attendees can learn how to repair clothes, appliances, furniture and glassware at the Festival of Repair.
The “Tiny House” up for sale on Sunday was built from reclaimed materials by students and instructors at Bower’s Build A Tiny House course in July. The online auction is already live and will remain open until 6 PM on Sunday.
The Bower is the sole organisation in Australia to building these increasingly-popular, miniature, self-contained homes on wheels out of reused and refurbished materials.
Experts have suggested that eco-friendly alternative trailer homes could be a solution to Sydney’s housing crisis, even homelessness, and local councils in Australia are beginning to explore the phenomenon as a housing option although few currently use them as primary living quarters.
The Bower’s training course reflects deepening interest in Sydney’s inner city in sustainable living. In 2019, for example, Sustainable Sharehouse transformed from an online directory on sustainable living into a real physical space and community hub in Marrickville. Following the demolition of the original Marrickville quarters, the co-living space has found refuge in a former church in Petersham. It is now renamed Greenhouse Studios.
Bower General Manager Michelle Sheather said the festival is “a clever way to save money and protect the environment from too much good stuff going to landfill.”
“We’re finding growing interest in learning how to repair things so this weekend we are running as many Repair Demonstrations and Repair Cafés as we can fit in –for electronic goods, furniture, clothing, bikes and even glassware and musical instruments,” said Sheather.
At the festival launch on Wednesday last week, 9 August, City of Sydney Councillor Adam Worling said, “this inspiring festival is beyond needed. It will help to replace our throw-away culture with a hands-on culture of repair.”
“More than half of our household and commercial waste goes to landfill. But data shows that by 2034, there will be no capacity at existing landfill sites in NSW. This is not acceptable, and we need to work together, with businesses like The Bower, and our well-intentioned community members, to change bad habits.”