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Clarence valley Council will consider submission about its draft Local Housing Strategy and Affordable Housing Policy before adopting both items at a future council meeting. Image: CVC

Council’s Housing Strategy and Affordable Housing Policy

Clarence Valley Council will consider public submissions made about its draft Local Housing Strategy and draft Affordable Housing Policy, which have been on public exhibition, before both initiatives are adopted at a future council meeting.

As part of the Department of Planning and Environment’s Local Housing Strategy Guideline 2018, NSW councils are required to prepare Local Housing Strategies, which are funded by the NSW Government, so council can action part of its Clarence Valley Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Both the Local Housing Strategy and Affordable Housing Policy have been developed in collaboration with local industry representative, social housing providers, government agencies and others to guide the future decision making about where new houses should be built and the types of housing the community needs.

An audit of supply and demand and modelling of future expected demand for different types of housing have been combined with the latest information on population growth to inform the Local Housing Strategy.

The Local Housing Strategy identifies opportunities to amend local planning controls to create capacity for an additional 1,730 dwellings in the Clarence Valley LGA, with capacity for 1025 additional dwellings in the Upper Clarence area and capacity for 705 additional dwellings in the Lower Clarence area.

Under current NSW planning framework, council can no longer impose conditions of consent requiring contributions for affordable housing without an Affordable Housing Contribution Plan in place, that is authorised by councils Local Environmental Plan LEP, thus, when the Affordable Housing Policy is adopted, the Clarence Valley LEP will be updated.

“The research shows we have higher rental stress, lower incomes and smaller households than the state average,” CVC Manager Development and Land Use Planning Murray Lane said.  

Affordable housing is separate from social housing in council’s policy and defined as “housing that is developed under an environmental planning instrument for households with very low, low, and moderate incomes.”

“Mortgage payments or rents for such housing are priced so these households can meet their other essential living costs, such as food, clothing, transportation, medical care and education.”

Currently, a development in Yamba promoting downsizing to retirees is selling two storey homes for between $1.7 million and $2.1 million, which is double the median house price guide for Yamba of $850,000.

Under the Affordable Housing Policy council aims to promote housing diversity including lot sizes, number of bedrooms, tenure, whether housing is suitable for special needs groups, including seniors, students, people with a disability, and/or is culturally responsive to First Nations community needs.

Council is holding community drop-in sessions in the following locations about both strategies:

Wednesday, November 15, 7am – 11am: Yamba Farmers Market

Wednesday, November 15, 2.30pm – 4.30pm: Yamba Wooli Street Hall

Friday, November 17, 10am – 12.30pm and 1.30 -4.30pm: Maclean Library

Tuesday, November 21, 10am – 4pm: Grafton Library

Thursday, November 23, 10am- 1pm: Iluka Bowls Club