Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dominic King has declared that our Shire is experiencing a housing availability and affordability crisis and has urgently called on the State and Federal Governments to invest in social housing and explore temporary or modular housing options on government land within our Shire.
Cr King said the local and vocal message he wanted to deliver via his Mayoral Minute at today’s Ordinary Meeting of Council was that all levels of government need to immediately and effectively fund community driven short, medium and long-term strategies to deliver a proactive response to the National housing crisis issue.
“The challenges we face as a community, the fact that we are struggling to provide existing and new community members with affordable housing options due to the financial and social impacts of the recent drought, bushfires, floods and the current pandemic crisis, these are challenges faced by many Councils in our region.”
“That’s why I am calling on the State and Federal Governments to invest in social housing initiatives and modular housing options on government land within our Shire, so we can begin to address the immediate impacts of poor local housing availability, increased property prices, rents, insurances, cost of living and mortgage stress challenges.”
Cr King said State and Federal Government funds were also needed to deliver medium and long-term community driven programs, projects and strategies, such as the establishment of a local Community Land Trust and Housing Matters Hub to proactively address our Shire’s housing crisis at a grass roots level.
“I acknowledge the crucial role our community plays in formulating local solutions and I am tabling a motion at the Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly calling on the Federal Government to release the $4 billion in unallocated Emergency Response Funds to the 537 Local Government Councils across our nation to fund local community disaster recovery, preparedness and resilience initiatives.”
“Ultimately, these funds could also be invested immediately to strengthen every local community’s capacity to establish foundational programs that would make a real difference by preparing our regions communities for the housing crisis challenges they face now and into the future.”