Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Addressing the affordable housing crisis

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4 November 2021

Bega Valley Shire Council has taken two significant steps forward to help address the affordable housing crisis, with the release of a draft Affordable Housing Strategy and a commitment to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of Narira Village Complex into a new community housing development in the shire.

Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said Council is seeking community feedback on its draft Affordable Housing Strategy which proposes measures to support an increase in the diversity of housing stock to meet the needs of people who live and work in the shire.

“Availability of housing for people on low, very low and moderate incomes in the shire is at a crisis point; profoundly impacting on people across the housing continuum,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“This draft Affordable Housing Strategy provides a framework to respond to housing need in the shire to 2040.”

The draft strategy identifies short, medium and long-term strategies for Council and key stakeholders to support housing development suitable for our growing population, ageing community and changes in household structure.

It also determines key performance indicators to monitor housing affordability and implementation of the strategy and aligns with federal and NSW government policy, including proposed changes to housing policy currently underway in NSW.

“Additionally, we’ve just resolved to enter into an agreement with Southern Cross Housing and the Department of Communities and Justice to develop more community housing in the shire,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“We’ll be investing the proceeds from the sale of Narira Village Complex in Cobargo in this partnership, as well as ensuring the Narira Village Complex in Cobargo is retained as community housing into the future.

“Importantly, the key condition of the sale of the Narira Village complex is that it must be used for community housing into the future, which means the community housing stock will increase across the shire over time.

“Southern Cross Housing is an established and well regarded social and affordable housing provider and we are confident they will manage the Narira Village complex and any new community housing in the shire with the best interests of the community at the forefront of their minds.”

All levels of government have a role to play in creating the policy settings and policy framework that support people wherever they are on the housing continuum. Council has been actively engaging with state and federal governments to advocate for increased affordable housing in the Bega Valley Shire.

“In addition to our advocacy to higher levels of government, we recently adopted a Local Strategic Planning Statement, Residential Land Strategy, Rural Residential Strategy and Commercial Land Strategy, which all seek to promote housing diversity and affordability,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“We’re also working to implement our adopted a Climate Resilience Strategy, which recognises the need for housing stock to be built to withstand the range of natural hazards to which the shire is exposed.”

Feedback on the draft Affordable Housing Strategy, through our Have Your Say webpage will be accepted up to 6 February 2022.

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