Thursday, February 29, 2024

Caravan parks could hold key to Alpine housing affordability

Targeted advocacy and the development of a business case for key worker accommodation in Council-owned caravan parks are among the actions identified by Alpine Shire Council in two key housing affordability projects.

Council noted the completion of the Key Worker Housing Pilot project and Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Plan at its December meeting.

Mayor, John Forsyth said a range of factors have caused housing availability and affordability to deteriorate over the past five years.

“This issue is not unique to the Alpine Shire, and there’s no quick-fix,” he said.

“The completion of these projects has helped us better understand the severity of the issue and made it clear that there is no single action that can solve the problem.”

Recommendations from the Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Plan include targeted advocacy to the Victorian Government, and the development of a business case for five key worker accommodation units to be installed at each of the Council-owned caravan parks in Bright, Myrtleford and Tawonga.

“We will also engage with the community, ratepayers and local business operators to develop a Short Stay Rental Accommodation Local Law – we will begin work on this project in the second half of 2023,” Mayor Forsyth said.

“This Local Law will ensure an appropriate standard of management of short stay rental accommodation and implement a registration system for accommodation operators.

“It will also minimise the risk of short stay accommodation impacting the peace and quiet of neighbours, and ensure any waste generated is managed in a way that protects the environment.”

Council is calling on the State Government to address the issue from the planning front as soon as possible.

“We need the State Government to recognise the severity of this issue and implement state-wide planning controls that moderate the number of local homes on the holiday let market,” said Mayor Forsyth.

Current data shows that 34% of the present short-term rental properties are owned by Alpine Shire residents.

Mayor Forsyth said solving the issue is a whole-of-community responsibility.

“There’s no quick fix, and Council can’t drive the solution single-handedly,” he said.

“Local residents who operate their investment properties as short stay rental accommodation can choose to be part of the solution by moving their properties onto the long-term rental market.

“You will not only provide a home for new residents, you may also be helping a local business or essential community service provider find the staff they need.”

The Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Plan are available to view here:

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