Sunday, May 26, 2024

Wollongong puts draft housing strategy to public

Wollongong City Council last night voted to seek community feedback on its draft housing strategy.

The Wollongong Housing Strategy document seeks to address a range of housing issues by examining measures that Council can control and influence to achieve positive outcomes for our community. The measures include planning controls, development contributions, fees and charges, education and advocacy.

“Whether you’re talking about housing supply and demand, emergency housing, social housing, housing for disabled persons or affordable housing, there are a wide range of housing concerns that affect people within our community,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“Each of these have their own unique challenges and while many housing issues are beyond the control of Local Government, we do have a key role to play as we work with the NSW State Government and the Federal Government.

“The development of this draft Strategy illustrates our commitment to guide our future actions and advocate for better housing outcomes for our community.’’

The draft Strategy demonstrates Council’s continued focus on housing and carries forward the work completed for draft Housing and Affordable Housing Options Paper.

The two pieces complement each other, with the draft Strategy incorporating community and stakeholder feedback along with the options from within the earlier Paper, Council said in a statement today.

Key points within the draft Strategy include consideration of how:

  • Housing responds to Wollongong’s unique environmental heritage;
  • New housing will continue to diversify supply and provide choice for residents;
  • Diversity will be provided through a variety of housing types, sizes, configurations, and features;
  • Wollongong City Centre will deliver a range of higher density housing options in appropriate locations;
  • Town and village centres, and land zoned for medium density residential development will promote their distinctive character while planning for, and facilitating, growth in high-quality design in desired locations.

“Council’s current Housing Strategy was prepared in 2005 and our city’s population has grown by more than 23,000 people over the past 17 years,’’ Lord Mayor Bradbery said.

“Wollongong City Council has put in an outstanding effort to facilitate the release of land for housing at West Dapto and Tallawarra as well as progressing the Corrimal Coke Works site and the development of around 2700 residential units in the City Centre.

“We haven’t been sitting on our hands. The cost of housing involves macro-economic issues which effects every part of Australia – we can only do our bit in our own patch within the scope of our remit.”

The draft Housing Strategy examines what more Council can do, particular given changes that have occurred since 2005, he said.

“It’s not just the number of people that we’ve welcomed to Wollongong that has changed our city’s landscape. We’ve also seen people’s housing needs change, there has been a dramatic shift in the local market, and we’re more focussed than ever on supporting people with disability and our ageing population.”

“We asked for community feedback on the draft Affordable Housing Options Paper last year and now we’re taking things forward through the development of this succinct, action-focused Strategy that will ultimately guide Council’s programs, activities and planning reforms.

“Our community’s input is key to the development of these documents which will inform Council’s actions moving forward. Councillors tonight talked to the complexity of managing our housing challenges and look forward to hearing from our residents and industry about the range of initiatives included. I encourage those who are interested in addressing housing issues in our community to be involved in this process,” the Lord Mayor said.

The draft Wollongong Housing Strategy will be available on Council’s website soon for community feedback.

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