chapter  4
16 Pages

Building on sand? Liquid housing wealth in an era of fi nancialisation

ByFIONA ALLON, JEAN PARKER

This chapter explores the diverse ways in which people achieve comfort within their homes and the possibilities for sustainable adaptation of low-cost homes. The findings presented in it draw on research with residents who participated in a government-funded home energy-saving program, Get Bill Smart, in Hobart, Tasmania. The cases described in the chapter illustrate the micro-politics, tensions and negotiations that occur between inhabitants as they seek to make a warm, cosy home. The chapter examines competing comfort priorities and the dynamic nature of home living in order to make sense of the potential for and barriers to adapting dwellings and practices within the home. The chapter focuses on the discord observed between the Get Bill Smart project team's architectural and environmental aspirations for the 'best house possible' in terms of thermal performance and energy efficiency, and the lived experience of the families who were making 'the best house possible' under constrained financial circumstances.