The Esperance housing market could be in for a shake-up after a study into the coastal town’s accommodation crisis resulted in recommendations for a lifestyle village, hotel and workers accommodation. Sparked by housing availability being identified as a significant issue for Esperance in recent years, and an increased potential for industrial activity and growth in the area, governing bodies including the Shire commissioned the study to better understand the housing and land situation. That study found the region was challenged by increasing land development and construction costs, land supply constraints, an influx of new residents and travellers, and increased investment from the farming community and the mining sector. The report provided an action list for the Shire and Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, which included 13 areas to focus on, the first of which is to immediately advocate for more investment in housing policy, planning and delivery. It recommended the Shire focus on the Flinders Estate redesign and prepare plans for the next stages while considering a variety of lot sizes, housing products, stages and community infrastructure, as well as and lots for specialist housing such as for seasonal workers, a hotel or resort and lifestyle village. The report also called on the two bodies to support Esperance Tjaltjraak housing initiatives, as well as the development of new retirement living or seniors accommodation options. To accommodate workers, the report said temporary workers accommodation should be considered along with key worker housing such as the Government Regional Officer Housing program across the next 10 years. Following development and adoption of the Local Planning Policy for Tiny Houses, the Shire is encouraged to actively plan and advocate for tiny houses in the area. In a report to council, Shire staff said local market issues were occurring against a backdrop of heightened housing needs, particularly rental accommodation, and an increasing pipeline of investment and business expansion. Shire staff said the issues facing the coastal town were not unique to them, but affected many regional areas across Australia. “In remote regional areas such as the Shire of Esperance, these challenges are exacerbated by distance, market scale, land availability and development feasibility,” staff said. “While there are key challenges, there is significant interest from a range of resources, energy and primary production investors in the area as well as business expansions. “Housing need modelling suggests that potentially 3400 dwellings are required over the next 20 years.” Councillors will consider the report at next Tuesday night’s meeting.