How do you like the idea of buying a house for around $100,000?
I'm not talking about the 1980s, when you could actually buy a normal house for around that price and when incomes, although much lower than today, could support such a purchase.
Instead, I'm introducing you to the idea of tiny houses of 50 square metres or less. Rather than having traditional foundations, they sit on a trailer with wheels.
But they are not caravans. Instead they use similar materials as standard houses and can be towed to specific locations to serve as permanent homes.
They typically are modern designs incorporating innovative ideas to save space and can include facilities such as water tanks, composting toilets, solar panels and batteries so that they are self-sufficient.
Where private property owners offer to host tiny houses, there are no land costs, which often make up a large slice of the final price of a house. And there are other savings, such as lower heating and cooling costs.
In short, they have the potential to make a real contribution to our housing crisis - a crisis that is not just about people facing mortgage stress but also is causing increasing homelessness.
When we think of the homeless, we often imagine men with an alcohol or drug addiction sleeping rough. But these days that is a small part of the problem.
A 2020 study found that there were 405,000 women 45 and older who were at risk of homelessness, often as a result of domestic violence, separation, low or no incomes and little superannuation to fall back on.
With the rapid rise in house prices and rents since then, together with higher interest rates, the problem has only become worse.
Increasing numbers of women are sleeping in cars or couch surfing.
Tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular in countries such as the US, Canada and the UK. And now councils in Australia also are coming around to the idea.
The problem here is that under current planning laws, tiny houses often are put in the same category as caravans, which are only permitted to offer temporary accommodation.
In 2022, Esperance Shire in Western Australia became the first council in this country to recognise tiny houses as permanent dwellings.
They were followed by Mount Alexander Shire in Victoria, which includes Castlemaine and the Shire of Capel, south of Perth.
Surf Coast Shire in Victoria, which includes towns such as Torquay and Lorne, has started a two-year trial of tiny houses as permanent dwellings.
It is an idea whose time has come.
Mike Steketee is a former political journalist who farms at Yarra.