Jerene Irwin, co-ownership architect.

Whilst I come from a homelessness background, Jerene comes from a design perspective, but we both have commonality when it comes to the benefits of community living and putting people at the heart of everything we do.

In February 2021 Jerene and I completed an application for the Low Rise competition, an architectural design competition which challenged designers and architects to develop new and sustainable models of low-rise, multi-unit housing in Los Angeles. (More information can be found here

The competition was to look at new paths to homeownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles, and ‘to promote housing affordability, new paths to homeownership, and innovative models of sustainable residential architecture.’ Jerene and I came to gather to share our background in design and co-ownership to meet the requirements of the brief.

The premise of the design for the competition, was based on our interpretation of housing and community and the positive impacts of shared living.

As I have already talked about in previous blog pieces, Mortgage Mates believe co-ownership facilitates a quicker entry to the property market, reduces our impact on the environment and increases social connection for those in the property. We also believe owning a home has a positive emotional, physical and mental health wellbeing- this links into the belief that Jerene has from an architectural perspective that space can be the creator of positive experiences and a feeling of safety for people.

Whilst we were not successful in winning the Low-rise competition, it has definitely assisted us to formulate a space to work in more long term, when it comes to affordable housing and shared living, both here in Australia and in the UK once we launch our second platform.

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