Shoalhaven City Council has developed a draft Affordable Housing Strategy that seeks to target the most effective affordable housing policy solutions, locally, through a range of strategies over the next 10 years.
Initially focusing on strategies that are most likely to have a practical impact on the supply of affordable housing, it also provides for ongoing and sustainable engagement of Council in affordable housing through long-term strategies.
“It is widely acknowledged that there is major shortfall in affordable housing in most cities and many regional and rural communities across Australia,” Mayor Amanda Findley said.
“The Shoalhaven has the highest level of housing stress and is one of the least affordable areas in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Region, with the Shoalhaven market generally unable to provide for most very low income renters and low income purchasers.”
Housing is generally considered to be ‘affordable’ when very low, low and moderate income households are able to meet their housing costs and still have sufficient income to pay for other basic needs such as food, clothing, transport, medical care and education.
Mayor Amanda Findley said that from a Sydneysiders perspective, the Shoalhaven is affordable, but that is part of the complex picture that is driving housing stress, as people leave more expensive markets.
“For those of us that have lived in the Shoalhaven for a longer time, we generally accept lower paid work or lesser working conditions to live in such a great place. However, that eventually catches us up and we have equally as challenging a market as any Sydney suburb.”
“There are a range of reasons why anyone in our community might need affordable housing. A young person seeking to live near where they grew up needs access to affordable housing. A recently separated or divorced person with children for whom conventional home ownership is no longer economically viable needs affordable housing. An older person on a reduced retirement income, or widowed, needs access to affordable housing.”
“Lack of affordably priced housing not only affects the quality of life of individual families, who may be sacrificing basic necessities to pay for their housing, it also has a serious impact on employment growth and economic development.”
“We know that the loss of young people, young families and workers in lower paid essential service jobs can adversely affect local economies, while the displacement of long-term residents reduces social cohesion and engagement with community activities such as volunteering, and extended family support.”
“Affordable housing is a vital form of community infrastructure that supports community wellbeing and social and economic sustainability, including a diverse labour market and economy, and strong and inclusive communities.”
Council is inviting the community to view and submit feedback on the draft Shoalhaven Affordable Housing Strategy from Wednesday, 23 August to Friday, 29 September 2017 at www.getinvolved.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au.
The document can also be viewed at Council’s Administrative Offices; Bridge Road, Nowra and Deering St, Ulladulla, during business hours. Written comments should be addressed to the General Manager, Shoalhaven City Council, PO Box 42, Nowra 2541 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 29 September 2017 quoting Council’s reference 1625E.