Organizing a Family Homestead Settlement (Australia)

A Family Homestead is a plot of minimum 1 hectare, on which a family creates a self-sufficient living environment, using a diversity of natural elements, and a dimension of love in which to raise children. Family Homestead Settlements are made up of 200 or more Family Homesteads, each separated by a laneway of minimum 3m, and there is common infrastructure such as a central field (village green, town square, meadow etc.), school house, town hall, medical centre, guest accommodation and shop.

The Family Homestead Settlement is a suitable place for a large range of occupations to reside: not just primary producers but also professionals, administrators, politicians, artists, academics, and so on. Importantly, this model of life can be built into the existing structure of society, and far from rejecting the available tools of the modern world, is interested in using them to solve the problems of today’s people, helping us to achieve a new way of life free from the difficulties and problems caused by today’s technocratic arrangements.

There are currently just under 500 Family Homestead Settlements around the world. The concept has received political, academic and government support in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and is beginning to be studied in the U.S.A, Germany, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Finland, Norway, Moldova, Estonia and Lithuania.

Stage 1. Familiarisation and preparation of Family Homestead concept

Stage 2. Secure funding for purchase and establishment of land

Stage 3. Purchase real estate

Visit prospective areas to feel the soul’s attraction and positive emotions.

Make offer, consult contract, pay deposit, consolidate savings for initial establishment, pay full sum, pay fees.

Stage 4. Establishment of first Family Homesteads

Create temporary accommodation to survey and assess layout of settlement.

Choose location for permitted dwellings (normally only one is allowed), and begin creation of the first Family Homestead

Establish vegetable plot for sustenance, orchard, tree plantings, etc.

Stage 5. Council permissions (the most substantial stage

Research status of existing regulations (depends on zoning of land) and consult our lawyers about the most suitable planning legislation that will permit a Family Homestead Settlement on the land.

If allowed, invite new residents to begin establishing their Family Homesteads adjacent to the first Homestead. Otherwise, go straight to …

Prepare settlement proposal for local authorities, including professional surveying and assessment, layout diagrams, economic prospectus, ecological protections, scientific and government reports demonstrating support for the values and techniques associated with Family Homestead Settlements such as sustainability objectives, revitalisation of rural townships, development of ecologically-friendly industries, cheap and reliable way to accommodate growing population, fulfilment of social justice targets, provision of basic subsistence to citizens, developing a way of life that enhances individual and community wellbeing, producing valuable economic contributions and exhibiting best practice in ecological design, innovation and research. See Crystal Waters for a good example of the detail and effort required.

Collate citizen statements of intent, drawings, etc. to demonstrate interest in the project and improve likelihood of success.

Secure funds for the submission of proposals and associated fees.

Negotiate with council, make amendments, and repeat proposal until we receive permission for our settlement on the basis of Anastasia’s Family Homestead image.

Stage 6. Establishment of further Family Homesteads

Invite new residents to choose their plot and begin creation of their own Family Homestead. Plots will be registered as the residents’ own property (“stewardship responsibility” or whatever phrase takes your fancy) with the right of inheritance. Plots may not be bought or sold.

Begin creation of common infrastructure (pathways, town hall, etc.) and celebrate settlement holidays (date of its creation, Whole Earth Day, etc.)

Common decisions are made at the community council where each person has equal power. This government model is based on the early period of the Novgorod Veche.

Stage 7. Expand settlement to desired size and change laws to simplify the process for others

Purchase adjacent land, following appropriate council procedures, in order to expand settlement to desired size, 200 families or more.

Host conferences and festivals on the subject of Family Homestead Settlements and related concepts in order to unite supporters and consolidate a campaign to simplify the procedure of establishing Family Homestead Settlements in the future.