The Geelong region is set be the ‘living village’ model location for the Micro-village project which is aimed at providing a pathway and solution for those who are susceptible to disconnection from community, isolation and potential homelessness, particularly in ageing populations.

The research project currently being undertaken by HOME – a Deakin research hub aims to explore the viability of affordable houses for those with limited funds and a desire for modestly-sized homes that minimise consumption of building materials, land and energy, and which integrate and link with the community in meaningful ways.

The eventual aim is for the design, construction and evaluation of a place-based micro village that houses 6 to 12 residents in the Geelong region.

Thinking of a far greater benefit than simply hipsters opting to reside in a tiny home thereby reducing their carbon footprint, the research informed project aims at creating a community that provides a deep, beneficial and meaningful connection for those at risk of social isolation, loneliness and potential homelessness through financial hardships. Research lead – HOME and Associate Professor School of Architecture & Built Environment’s Ursula de Jong comments, “Tiny Houses movement lacks social integration and community consultation”. The project, she says, will place emphasis on social connection.

“By focusing on co-design with potential residents, their neighbours, policy-makers and stakeholders, our project will make recommendations on how to integrate such a development into existing neighbourhoods in Geelong and, in this way, support the wellbeing of micro-village residents and the broader community.” – Ursula De Jong, Associate Professor in Deakin’s School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The project is currently in the initial planning stages but has already captured media attention.

Micro-villages making a big impact  – Disruptr
Forget Tiny Homes, Deakin Researchers want to create Micro-villages – Deakin
Geelong Micro Village Could Solve Rental Stress – Architecture & Design Magazine
New ‘micro-village’ project set to deliver affordable housing to older Victorians – AgedCare101
Deakin Researchers examining Micro-villages – Building Connection


Deakin HOME Research Hub’s micro village research team includes Richard Tucker, Fiona Andrews, Ursula de Jong, Nicole Johnston, Fabienne Michaux, David Kelly and Elyse Warner.

The ‘Micro-village’ project recently received funding from the Geelong Community Foundation.

Read also: Forget Tiny Homes