University of Sydney architecture student and Lendlease Bradfield Urbanisation Scholarship finalist Marco Pecora says the way to fix the housing affordability issue across Sydney – in particular in Western Sydney – is to increase the incorporation of shared facilities in low to medium density builds in areas such as Parramatta.

Pecora’s innovative ideas are aimed to help make affordable a range of low and medium density homes in the one-time working class region where the expected growth in population will also be able to take advantage of the regions’ expected economic boom in jobs over the next two decades.

“Through the shared housing project, not only will families be able to afford life in Parramatta but a community will develop and the neighbour dynamic will expand into a relationship of sharing facilities,” Pecora told the Daily Telegraph.

The core of Pecora’s ideas consists of designing a house that has separate living quarters but shares a number of its amenities such as the laundry, kitchen, garden, and even the garage.

“By sharing the cost of utility rooms and whitegoods, not only is there a reduction on wastage but it makes the idea of having a family home much more realistic,” he was quoted in the Daily Telegraph article.

He says his ideas can be further extended to concepts like sharing cars, bicycles, tools and even sharing toys.

Pecora says a couple of new builds where his ideas could be tested fairly quickly include the new estates to be built on the grounds of old Parramatta Gaol, and at the site of the former Shell Refinery in the adjoining suburb of Clyde, where the idea would be to also incorporate low traffic roads, family friendly play areas and eateries that provided healthy food with accessible price levels.