SYDNEY, June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — If it’s good enough for Elon Musk, could hired prefab homes be a solution to the rising housing crisis? PennyGranny, an innovative Australian affordable housing start-up, is convinced it’s the way forward and will deliver a prefab, portable home direct to customers’ block of land ready to live in or rent out for profit.

Michael Doubinski, CEO of PennyGranny Pty Ltd relaxes inside one of the company's portable homes for hire.
Michael Doubinski, CEO of PennyGranny Pty Ltd relaxes inside one of the company’s portable homes for hire.

Inspired by multi-billionare Elon Musk’s modest choice of housing, an Australian start-up is offering an innovative solution to the current affordable housing crisis. The brainchild of serial tech founder Michael Doubinski, PennyGranny Pty Ltd stocks a range of stylish prefab homes that can be hired from $230 per week, including delivery to the customers’ property.

The idea behind PennyGranny came when Doubinski read an article about Musk’s new living arrangement. As the world’s richest man, Elon Musk can live anywhere in the world, but the tech billionaire reportedly shacks up in a rented compact house about the size of a double garage near SpaceX in Boca Chica, Texas. Being Elon Musk, this is no ordinary tiny house. The stylishly designed and comfortable Casita by Boxabl is an energy-efficient, low maintenance 35-square-metre prefab that’s delivered on the back of a semi-trailer and craned into place. The Casita is move-in ready within hours, and starts at around $US49,500.

The creator of the portable home, Galiano Tiramani, has said that he created a home that is better, cheaper and faster to build as a solution to the worldwide housing crisis. The goal of the company is to reduce housing costs dramatically by making the construction compatible with assembly line mass production.

Similar prefab portable homes, built in a factory and shipped onto site, have been available in Australia for decades. The prefab building process reduces construction costs by up to 50 per cent and, in many cases, set-up on site takes as little as one day.

Doubinski, who has been a pioneer and founder of Australian tech businesses since the late 90s and  was involved in the creation of many iconic Australian companies, including HotelsCombined, Menulog and, inspired by Musk’s example, started investigating modular, prefab homes here in Australia.

“I was really excited by the manufacturers and stylish, innovative designs I came across in my research as well as the cost savings and flexibility,” says Doubinski. “Initially, I envisioned PennyGranny as a way for pensioners to add accommodation in their own backyards without the up-front costs of building a granny flat, earn rental income and be able to stay in their own community. In fact, we’ve had a flood of enquiries since launching late last year and most of our customers have been rural landowners seeking an affordable home, extra accommodation for their kids or holiday accommodation they can rent out at a profit to supplement their income.”

With the affordable housing crisis set to explode in Australia, Doubinski is now hoping that PennyGranny can offer a viable solution to take the pressure off communities throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, where the business currently operates.

“According to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) there is currently a shortfall for social housing nationally of close to 433,000 properties,” says Doubinski. “There’s also a dearth of private rental properties, so we are seeing a new era of homelessness, with working people who can afford to pay rent driven to live in tents or their cars simply because no rental homes are available. Building enough homes by conventional means in time to avert the growing crisis is simply not feasible.

“We’re hoping that PennyGranny can be an important part of the solution. With our home hire model, the only potential up-front cost is the connection to services. Anyone with land can order a  PennyGranny dwelling with one to three bedrooms, live in it themselves or rent it out at a profit. Our hope is that property investors, community housing associations, local councils, state governments, caravan parks, camping grounds and even churches and farmers see the possibility to quickly provide affordable housing on available vacant land, even temporarily as we can remove the housing at any time as needed.

“For those seeking to enter the property market at an affordable level, there’s also the potential to invest in a regional block of land and add a PennyGranny to rent out and assist with paying it off. PennyGranny adds a portable dwelling to your property, rents it out, and pays you a continuous income. You bear no costs whatsoever, and we do all the work!”

As Doubinski explains, the process for PennyGranny’s Income model is simple: “We come to you to choose the best possible location for the portable home and select the most optimal size to maximise your revenue and the right design to be in line with the rest of your property. We then agree on a minimum contract term that best suits your situation, take care of all council requirements and deliver and install the portable prefab home on your property. Then we rent out the home only to tenants that you approve and from the moment the tenancy starts, you receive a portion of the rent that we collect each week. There is really not much for you to do, as we do all the hard work. We even take care of landscaping such as planting a hedge to create privacy or building a footpath. And should you wish to stop the arrangement, we will ‘make-good’ your property and bring it back to its original neat state free of charge.”

The applications for PennyGranny’s innovative ‘Homes for Hire’ and ‘Income’ models are broad-ranging.

“There’s emergency housing following natural disasters, temporary transportable housing while building a home, short-term tiny homes and holiday accommodation,” adds Doubinski. “We are excited to be offering a service that could really help community and will be offering discounts to those truly in need such as the elderly or single parents.”

For more information, visit  

To arrange an interview with Michael Doubinski, email or call 0450 912 750

To contact SoCo Communications, call Penelope Barker on 0450 912 750 or email

High res images are available here: 

Caption information: Michael Doubinski (CEO of PennyGranny in ripped jeans) and General Manager David Becker (in PennyGranny T-shirt) with a PennyGranny transportable home for hire.