The answer to Australia's housing shortage and affordability crisis could be found in the proposed 'Zone Home', according to Archicentre's managing director, Robert Caulfield.

The Archicentre concept of a Zone Home features two separate entries and cooking facilities, laundry and bathroom areas, plus private outdoor spaces.

Owners of the Zone Home can then rent out the second living area to help reduce their monthly mortgage commitments, making it more affordable for them to enter the property market and service a home loan. The design also allows the owner to expand the place at a later date into a full-size house by a simple renovation that joins both ZONES.

"The Zone Home is a practical way of providing a flexible housing design solution that would be extremely attractive in the current financial turmoil, provide an option for Baby Boomers who wanted to downsize without leaving their home, and for parents wanting to give their children the chance to get a toe-hold in the housing market," said Caulfield.

The Zone Home is an extension of the 'granny flat' concept which is widely accepted in Australia and supported by Governments with legislation. But currently, the major problem facing the building of this new version is planning legislation that needs changing, as a Zone Home constitutes two homes on the one title.