Mel’s Story


Mel and her young family moved to Queenstown in 2018, when her husband, Troy discovered his dream job at the airport. The beautiful surroundings and the welcoming Frankton community were overshadowed by the overwhelming cost of renting and the insecurity of their tenancy. Something had to change.

Originally from Alexandra, property valuer Mel began exploring alternative housing options from overseas as well as closer to home. For twelve months, she filled her days absorbing all she could about co-operative home ownership, co-housing, prefabrication and shared ownership schemes.

One thing became lakewater-clear to her: rather than housing developments being led by a developer’s pursuit of profit, what if people could lead the development of their own villages? Wouldn’t that truly put community back at the heart of local development?

That idea began meandering through the local community and a collection of champions stood up to take collective ownership over figuring out the solution together. Mel brought a group of households together to help steer the ship and on the horizon there was land ahoy!