Lorne Addresses Lack of Affordable Housing
15 November 2007
INCENTIVES to rent unoccupied houses, release of crown land for low-cost housing and house sitting are some ideas proposed by the local community to tackle the lack of affordable housing in Lorne.
Following the recent one-day summit on the issue, the Lorne Affordable Housing Project Team and its parent body - LorneCH - will work with the Surf Coast Shire, land owners, State and Federal governments, to create more affordable housing in the coastal township.
Surf Coast Shire mayor, Cr Rose Hodge, says Council is endeavouring to help find solutions to this issue which has long-term ramifications for the entire Lorne community.
"The Summit highlighted the impact that the lack of low-cost housing is having on the township," Cr Hodge says.
"If young families cannot afford to buy or rent in Lorne it means there are fewer people to work in retail outlets and businesses, to participate in sporting clubs, work in community support and emergency services or enroll at the local school," she says.
Cr Libby Mears, who spoke at the Summit, says the Shire will work with other decision-makers, and advocate on behalf of the community, to generate more affordable housing options in Lorne, in turn creating a stronger residential population to fuel community, business and lifestyle opportunities in and around the town.
Cr Mears believes a partnership approach to finding solutions to Lorne's lack of low-cost housing, is essential.
"There are matters of planning, land ownership, employment, trade and legislation that are intertwined with this issue and it requires input from many different levels of government, community and business if it is to be effectively resolved," she says.
LorneCH chair and local SES controller, Michael Callanan agrees. "We do need to work together - the first thing we need to do is a stocktake of all dwellings that could be used for accommodation. "Once this figure is established we can liaise with property owners, the Shire and Government agencies to create incentives and mechanisms that encourage more accommodation rentals in the town."
Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that Lorne's permanent population stands at 967. There are 1601 private dwellings and 27% of these dwellings are occupied.
Mr Callanan says all ideas put forward at the Summit to create more low-cost housing in Lorne will be explored and strategies developed to action. Proposed ideas include:
- Exploration of land release issues and ongoing controls to retain low cost focus
- Government incentives for co-operative low income owner builder arrangements
- New development subsidies to include a percentage of land for affordable stock
- Unoccupied house rate subsidy to go towards low income housing
- Council survey of homeowners to find out percentage of willingness to respond to community's needs
- Encourage unoccupied homes to be occupied via interest free development loan for worker accommodation
- Release crown land for low cost housing
- House sitting of unoccupied houses.
Cr Mears says the Summit generated many positive ideas and revealed the energy and commitment that the local community has towards resolving the issue of affordable housing.
She also acknowledges the important role that LorneCH is playing in driving this issue. "The Shire will work closely with this group to find solutions. "There is no easy fix to this issue but there is certainly the will and the expertise to create more low-housing options in Lorne."
If you would like to help LorneCH in its endeavors, you can contact LorneCH Community Facilitator, Genevieve Roberts, on 0437 127 404 or email [email protected]
Source: Surf Coast Shire Media Release