A Brief Regional History
Although the region was home to indigenous peoples for tens of thousands of years, the non- native permanent settling began in the Karratha area in the early-to-mid-1800s.
The vicinity encountered significant development that followed the growth of the iron ore industry in the 1960s. The discovery of gas in the 1980s increased the Karratha population and upped the need for affordable housing.
The Western Australia mining industry is rebounding since the global financial crisis. A renewed interest in the region and its resources is bringing a resurgence of mineworkers and in some cases families to the area.
What is Driving the Need for Housing in the Karratha Area?
A mining industry boom is the fuel behind the increased need for affordable housing in Karratha and the surrounding area. However, there are more forces at work than a coming influx of mineworkers.
- Rapidly increasing rents ahead of the projected boom.
- Building homes in the area is exceptionally expensive because of the cyclone ratings, costs of labour, and the price of transporting necessary building materials to the area.
- Housing stock availability is at 1.5 per cent (this is a seven per cent drop over the past six years)
- Banks are not lending funds to potential buyers in Karratha and its surrounding areas.
- An estimated 14,200 new workers will arrive in the area to situate the infrastructure. Additionally, these workers will be a part of industrial projects, resource development, and needed construction.
- While the City of Karratha is working with builders and developers to stimulate construction, development professionals believe that the stimulus began about a year too late. This leaves the area vulnerable to exorbitant rent increases as demand will start to outpace the supply of housing.
How Can Transportables Help the Situation in Karratha?
- Transportable structures answer an immediate need for housing.
- Transportables help to keep the rent prices stable. By providing suitable places for workers and possibly their families to live, transportables reduce the chance of runaway price gouging for the relatively few rental units available.
- Transportables eliminate vacant housing when the population decreases. In the long run, this will help to stabilise housing costs. A mix of long- and short-term employees will arrive. Not all of the workers coming to the Karratha area will remain for an extended amount of time. Of the 14,200 workers expected to prepare the region for the boom, fewer than 3,000 will retain their employment for the long term.
What Are Some Advantages?
- Speed – Transportable structures are ready for occupancy in a fraction of the time it takes to construct a conventional building to house workers.
- Flexibility – The layout of transportables can vary greatly. There is no wasting of available land.
- Mobility – If it is necessary, the transportable buildings can go from one area to another.
- Customisable – Different companies require specific structural attributes. Customising a transportable is typically not a problem.
- Economical – Transportables cost much less to build than permanent structures.
The mining industry may often experience expanding and contracting. Because of these many levels, the fluctuations make permanent housing an expensive investment and sometimes a problem for the owners.
Fox Transportables provides solutions for the issue of housing for remote workers. Their experience, innovation, and quality products temper the present high demand for housing.
Additionally, very remote mining sites can use Fox Transportables customisable buildings to create a home away from home for the mineworkers.
The transportable structures are ideal not only as workers’ housing, but as the kitchen, laundry, office, and medical facilities. Additionally, all-purpose rooms, showers, and restrooms are available.