“We are heading for a lose-lose scenario unless we supply the basic fundamental need of shelter for all, rich and poor,” says Robert Pradolin, a civil engineer and registered builder with a graduate diploma in property and an MBA.
He is using his industry expertise to cobble together creative coalitions between big business and the charitable sector to quickly provide short-term housing in Melbourne and Sydney. First, he finds buildings that are slated for redevelopment and likely to stand empty for two or more years while large-scale projects are designed, approved, financed and marketed prior to construction. Next, he contacts a local housing charity that can identify vulnerable people who need shelter and provide them with appropriate support. Then he uses his contacts in the property industry to encourage big firms like Probuild and Metricon to make the buildings habitable. Finally, he gets the buildings fitted out with second-hand furniture donated by upmarket hotels such as the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney and Crown Plaza in Melbourne.