we need $7.5 million to build 66 townhouses – L’Echo

MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin is calling on the NSW Government to act more decisively to address the housing crisis in the Northern Rivers region, made worse by the catastrophic flood disaster.

Ms Saffin has again written to New South Wales Treasurer Matt Kean asking for $7.5 million to enable the construction of 66 townhouses on flood-prone land owned by Lismore City Council.

Ms Saffin said the keys would be at the gates of these townhouses by the end of 2024 if Mr Kean releases the $7.5 million from the $120 million regional component of the $300 million third round dollars from the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund.

Affordable and social housing a priority

“The construction of affordable and social housing is my main priority and these two projects assessed by Landcom are the close fruits of this fund, which co-finances essential housing infrastructure. This can be replicated regionally,” Ms Saffin said.

“This kind 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.”

NSW Government must be more decisive

Ms Saffin said the NSW Government needed to act more decisively to help address pressing housing issues, by:

Development of a reconstruction program for all housing; extend rental assistance until people are rehoused; allow temporary housing on land until permanent housing solutions are found (regardless of individual circumstances), and more flexibility on short-term housing options (e.g. location of pods and mobile homes), and; direct involvement of North Coast Community Housing.

Ms Saffin says they also need to expand Landcom’s role in reviewing local housing options, provide more transparency and clear communications on the regional housing task force (what are they doing, what is their pipeline work, etc.) and urgently engage with the federal government to advance Housing Future Fund contributions to build social and affordable housing in Northern Rivers as a top priority (federal work has already committed to this and the NSW Government must step up and make this an urgent priority for delivery).