Monday, April 22, 2024

Lismore housing grant program spurs affordable housing

Lismore City Council says its housing grant program has received applications to build 28 new units and dwellings since launching in July last year, with all qualifying under the Federal Government’s Affordable Housing guidelines.

With a dedicated pool of $1.2 million available on a ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis, the program aims to stimulate the development of new affordable housing options within the community.

The Housing Grant program provides $15,000 for each new dwelling to eligible projects falling under six distinct categories, including:

  • Secondary dwellings;
  • First home buyers (new construction);
  • Relocation of flood-affected dwellings within Lismore LGA;
  • Construction of new dwellings within Lismore LGA by recipients of a buyback from the NSW Reconstruction Authority;
  • Any housing built by a Community Housing Provider (CHP) or Indigenous Community Housing Organisation (ICHO), and
  • Any developer of multi-dwelling housing projects that enters into an agreement to have housing managed by a CHP as affordable rental for a minimum of 15 years.

Council’s Chief Community Officer, Eber Butron said seeing people accessing the grants to support new housing was encouraging. 

“Addressing the housing crisis requires all levels of government to step in, as this is one of the things that our Council identified we could do locally,” he said.

“We have access to funds through a Federal Government program that must be spent on affordable housing. We want to make sure that anyone eligible knows about this fund so they can tap into it to build or relocate within Lismore.”

Mr Butron said Council had various initiatives to stimulate new affordable and diverse housing including discounts and deferrals of developer contributions and a partnership with Landcom to deliver more than 50 dwellings on Council-owned land.

“Council’s Affordable and Diverse Housing Strategy, adopted in 2023, identified all of the levers Council can pull and sets out a range of actions for Council to take,” he said.

“We will continue to do this, often in partnership with other agencies, to increase the housing stock available to target groups not served by the current housing market.”   

The Federal Government’s Building Better Regional Cities program funds the housing grants.

A total of 80 grants will be offered on a ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis until such time as the available funds are fully committed.

A Fact Sheet outlining the criteria and process for the grant program is available on Council’s website here.

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