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Australian affordable housing start-up offers win-win solution for cash-strapped homeowners and desperate renters

Australian affordable housing start-up offers win-win solution for cash-strapped homeowners and desperate renters

SYDNEY, Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Interest rates are rising, inflation is expected to hit eight per cent by the end of the year. As household budgets are stretched to their limit, one company is offering Australian homeowners a steady source of passive income, right in their own backyard, to ease the burden and provide much-needed additional rental accommodation.

Australians are feeling the squeeze and, for some, no amount of belt-tightening will be enough to save them from mortgage stress. According to an Australian National University survey one in four Australians is struggling to make ends meet on their current income, while data from SQM Research shows a sharp rise in distressed real estate listings as the continual run of interest rate hikes since May is driving many to sell their homes at a loss as they fall behind with higher loan repayments.

“It’s a perfect storm really, with everything happening at once; sky rocketing interest rates, a lack of affordable housing, an energy crisis which of course filters down into every single thing costing more to buy,” says Michael Doubinski, serial tech entrepreneur and founder of PennyGranny.com.au, an innovative affordable housing start-up. “I shudder to think how many Australians, who have worked hard to achieve home ownership, will be forced to sell or hand their homes over to the banks in six months time with the double-whammy of falling house prices leaving many with years of debt.”

Launched in late 2021, PennyGranny.com.au hires out prefab transportable homes for use as granny flats, home offices, temporary site accommodation and more for affordable rates from $230 per week. Now Doubinski is launching a revenue-sharing arrangement where homeowners and landowners can have a granny flat installed on their property at no up-front cost and share in the rental revenue.

“Basically, if you have a suitable backyard or rural block, PennyGranny.com.au will take care of all council requirements, deliver a prefab granny flat suitable for your land, install all services such as water and electricity and even provide landscaping for privacy,” explains Doubinski. “We then find a tenant or tenants, approved by you, and pay you a share of the rent each week. The amount you receive will obviously depend on the size of the secondary dwelling and the market rental that can be achieved in your location but even $150 per week of passive income could make the difference to keeping your home.

“And should you be in real trouble, you could actually opt-in to live in our portable granny flat yourself in your own backyard and rent out your main place of residence for a considerably higher amount than what you would get for a granny flat. This would really boost your income and not only let you keep your house, but also leave you with some extra cash in hand.”

And, as Australia’s rental crisis deepens, every PennyGranny.com.au prefab home installed in this way adds to the pool of much-needed rental properties.

Doubinski, who has been a pioneer and founder of Australian tech businesses since the late 90s and  was involved in the creation of many iconic Australian companies, including HotelsCombined, Menulog and ProductReview.com.au, has had a busy year. As well as growing the new business he had to organise the rescue of his wife’s parents from the conflict zone in Ukraine in February this year and in August he and his wife welcomed their second child, a little princess named Zara-Lilit.

“It’s been challenging!” says Doubinski. “My genuine hope is that PennyGranny.com.au can offer renters and homeowners alike a way through the current economic crisis without falling into homelessness and poverty.”

Operating since late 2021, PennyGranny is now offering over 11 different portable cabin types for hire listed at PennyGranny.com.au and ranging anywhere from $230 for a small studio with bathroom and kitchenette to $390 per week for a two-bedroom, 12m long and 3.4m wide, much larger portable option.

The company is based in Dural in outer Sydney and operates in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria.

For more information, visit https://pennygranny.com.au  

Image: PennyGranny.com.au customer Courtney Miles receives her new two-bedroom prefab transportable home. "This beauty was delivered today – our brand new temporary #tinyhome. Thanks very much to PennyGranny.com.au for everything, you guys have been amazing every step of the way!!!"
Image: PennyGranny.com.au customer Courtney Miles receives her new two-bedroom prefab transportable home. “This beauty was delivered today – our brand new temporary #tinyhome. Thanks very much to PennyGranny.com.au for everything, you guys have been amazing every step of the way!!!”