Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Surf Coast calls on community support for affordable housing

Surf Coast Shire Council is calling on the local community to contribute their views to a project aiming to explore an affordable housing project on a Council-owned site in Aireys Inlet.

Located at 2 Fraser Drive, the site has housed residents in four affordable housing dwellings since the early 1990s. There is also a 1,100m2 community garden and a public access walkway to Albert Avenue, both of which will remain in Council’s ownership and are not part of the project development, Council said in a statement.

“Council is willing to consider proposals from registered housing agencies to forgo the value of the land to develop social and affordable housing and transfer the management of existing four social housing dwellings,” it said.

Any proposals for a land use arrangement would be subject to a decision-making process at a future Council meeting.

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Libby Stapleton said community engagement was an important step towards establishing a community endorsed vision for social and affordable housing at the 2 Fraser Drive site.

“At a time when private rental vacancy rates are below 1 per cent and 783 people are on the waiting list for social housing in the Anglesea district alone – job vacancy rates in the Great South Coast area have also ballooned,” Mayor Stapleton said.

“For some of us – even those of us deeply embedded in our communities and townships – it doesn’t take much to become extremely vulnerable. Creating social and affordable housing is about making sure that when we are confronted with a health crisis, relationship breakdown or job loss, we all have access to safe, secure and affordable housing.”

She said the proposed project responds to community requests for affordable housing for local people across the Surf Coast Shire, with a range of groups identified as having increased housing need.

“We’ve heard from key workers, families, women and older residents struggling to stay in towns across the shire due to a lack of affordable housing,” Mayor Stapleton said.

A close working relationship between Council and stakeholders provides the potential to ensure that any further affordable housing is built according to ecologically sustainable design principles, and well integrated into the local and natural environment, the Mayor said.

During October, Council will conduct a series of meetings to discuss the potential for the site.

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