Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Housing Crisis Solution

Launched By Local Socialpreneurs

A social enterprise initiative aiming to tackle a significant gap in housing availability and suitability has been designed and launched by local ‘socialpreneurs’ Elisa McFadzen and Jenna Armstrong.

‘Millions in the Middle’ aims to provide a stable, affordable housing solution for those impacted by the housing crisis.

“We saw friends and colleagues, hard-working professionals, struggle to keep a roof over their head,” said Ms McFadzen.

“We knew we had to do something.

“Our vision is to bridge the gap in housing availability and make a lasting impact in our community.”

In Mackay, only 3.6 per cent of dwellings are flats or apartments, compared to 12.5 per cent in the rest of Queensland, and 14.2 per cent in Australia.

With 23.9 per cent of households in Mackay being single-person dwellings, Ms McFadzen highlighted the pressing mismatch in housing suitability.

“We looked at what the gaps were in our community and found a significant need for smaller dwellings,” she said.

“We have single-person or smaller households in need, our ageing population, working couples, single parent families and a lack of suitable dwellings,” added Ms Armstrong.

“It's a challenge that requires innovative thinking and community-driven solutions.”

The pair have capitalised on recent changes in Queensland government legislation which unlocked new housing opportunities, allowing ‘Millions in the Middle’ to create a community actionable solution through secondary dwellings.

Recognising the hurdles faced by the general public, ‘Millions in the Middle’ partnered with local industry networks to streamline the process, developing four small-scale, fully self-contained, 7+ star-rated housing models in collaboration with Whitsunday Design & Drafting and GJ Gardner Homes.

Officially launched on Friday, August 25, the new, small-scale housing models will cater to diverse needs within the region.

“Homeowners in our region have a unique opportunity to be part of this solution,” Ms McFadzen stated.

“We have gone through and fully streamlined the process, completed designs, engineering certificates and made sure everything is really ready to go and easy for people to add this as an option onto their property.

“By offering space for a secondary dwelling, you're not just investing in property – you're investing in people, in community, and in change.”

The dwellings can be built from consultation to construction in approximately four months and start at $140,000, ranging from 33m2 to 75m2.

If you are a homeowner with space to build a secondary dwelling, visit to learn more or get involved.

Jenna Armstrong and Elisa McFadzen. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

Millions in the Middle developed four small-scale, fully self-contained, 7+ star-rated housing models. Image supplied

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