STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin is calling on the NSW Government to act more decisively to address the Northern Rivers region’s housing crisis, compounded by the catastrophic flooding disaster.
Ms Saffin again has written to NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, seeking $7.5 million to enable 66 townhouses to be built on flood-free land owned by Lismore City Council.
Ms Saffin said the keys would be in the doors of these townhouses by late 2024 if Mr Kean unlocks the $7.5 million from the $120-million regional component of the $300-million third round of the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund.
“Building affordable and social housing is my main priority and these two Landcom-assessed projects are the low-hanging fruit under this Fund, which co-funds critical housing-enabling infrastructure. This can be replicated regionally,” Ms Saffin said.
“This type of infill development – advanced in planning and low risk – is exactly what is needed to ‘build back better’ as the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation begins its monumental task of rebuilding.”
Ms Saffin said the NSW Government needed to act with more decisiveness to help resolve urgent housing issues, by:
- Developing a Whole of Housing Reconstruction package.
- Extending rent assistance until people are rehoused.
- Allowing temporary housing on land until permanent housing solutions are found (whatever that might be in individual circumstances), and more flexibility on short-term housing options (e.g. location of pods and mobile homes).
- Ensuring the direct involvement of North Coast Community Housing.
- Expanding the role of Landcom in considering local housing options.
- Providing more transparency and clear communications on the Regional Housing Taskforce (what are they doing, what is their pipeline of work etc.).
- Urgently engaging with the Federal Government to bring forward contributions from the Housing Future Fund to build social and affordable housing in the Northern Rivers as a matter of top priority (Federal Labor have already committed to this and the NSW Government needs to step up and make this is an urgent priority for delivery).
TEMPORARY HOUSING: Inspecting pods in Wollongbar are North Coast Community Housing CEO John McKenna, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Federal Minister for Emergency Management Senator Murray Watt.