Rising home loan interest rates, rental costs, and a shortage of affordable housing have inspired some Victorians to look for unique ways to address the issue.
However, most people don't combine plans to travel to the other side of the world with designing and building their own home, but Pastor Jay Reynolds had a divine appointment to do just that!
"We were happy in London, and the church was going well, but through a series of what I'd call God-incidents, we knew our future was in Australia," he said.
"As my wife is Australian, we had visited four times as a family before we sensed we were meant to be here permanently and would move here in 2020.
"We literally arrived in the middle of Covid to check out a Lead Pastor vacancy and knew it was right once we got here."
Ps Jay and his wife Dee fitted the criteria for the role, confirming the imminent move.
So, the former London-based pastor embarked on this journey of faith as the world was beginning to face the impending COVID-19 pandemic.
"We booked our tickets in January 2020, just as the world began hearing about the pandemic.
I felt an urgency to pray about which airline to choose, and amazingly, as the time to travel approached, all the other airlines, except the one we had chosen, cancelled flights to Australia!
It had not been my first choice of Airline, but it was definitely the right choice.
"The family arrived in Melbourne in April 2020 and immediately went into compulsory quarantine for 14 days.
"As a family of 8, like Noah in the bible, we had been running our church in a building called 'Ark' Greenwich Free school, in London, UK.
"We then travelled during the 'flood' of Covid and 'landed' in Ararat 377 days later, just like Noah landed on Mount Ararat, 377 days after entering his Ark," he said.
As Jesus said: "The Last Days will be like the days of Noah and of Lot, so we believe we need to be really wise about investing resources and not amassing debt that could be called in. We want to try and live within our means and to be able to make it through the challenging times that are coming on the earth leading up to 2030."
Ps Jay explained, "In the UK, I started out as a Product Designer before becoming a Design Technology teacher and eventually a church pastor, but I'd never built a house before, so the prospect was both exciting and extremely daunting!"
The house is constructed from two large shipping containers, a steel frame, large glazing, and wooden cladding.
The Reynolds family hopes to move into their unique home midway through this year.
It has a large living space, kitchen, laundry, and bathroom, a main bedroom and ensuite, and one large and three small single rooms for the younger children. The block also provides room to grow vegetables, raise a few chickens, and become semi-self-sufficient.
Mr Reynolds said the council he is dealing with has been very helpful, and the process has been relatively straightforward, considering it is a one-of-a-kind home and unique in its design and the materials he is using.
"We would urge Australians to prioritise, to store up water and resources, and certainly to clear or reduce debt as soon as possible. Certainly, we should be saving up before spending on homes or the like rather than borrowing huge amounts," Ps Reynolds said.
The Reynolds family home, sized to match the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation, is only 12000mm x 12000mm, which is 144 metres square.
Pastor Jay noted: "With rising interest rates and the cost of living on the increase, this is an affordable option that will provide everything we need for our family and with minimal debt.
"Although compact, we really believe the design is an affordable and repeatable project."
This family's answer to affordable housing may encourage others to consider an alternative to the norm when building their homes.