North Coast

CEO Tony Davies

Social Futures welcomes the first Resilient Lands project but calls for more land and social housing targets

Social Futures has welcomed the announcement of the first major Resilient Lands project to be delivered under the $100 million Resilient Lands Program but is keen to see the release of more land (under the program) and social housing targets.

Southern Cross University, Landcom (a state government agency) and the NSW Reconstruction Authority have signed an agreement to deliver more than 400 homes in East Lismore. The land is expected to come onto the market in 2026.

“This is a great first step,” said Social Futures CEO Tony Davies, “but of course we’d like to see the other post-flood land projects developed and delivered as soon as possible.”

The Northern Rivers will mark the second anniversary of unprecedented flooding that badly damaged more than 6,000 homes on February 28.

“Social Futures is also calling on the government to set targets for affordable and social housing on each land project, so that the working people who serve the Northern Rivers – nurses, tradesmen, police officer and teachers – can afford to buy a home in this beautiful region,” Mr Davies said.

“In London, new developments have a requirement for 50%. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our community and ensure we have the right mix of housing for people on low-incomes, working people and also the tree-changers arriving from cities with more generous budgets.

“In short there needs to be a mix of housing so no one is left out in the cold.”

Mr Davies said the Northern Rivers Resilient Land Strategy, developed last year, cited that some 7800 new dwellings would be needed to accommodate people most impacted by the 2022 floods.

“We’ve long been waiting for this first announcement of land, but we are glad it’s out because the people of the Northern Rivers need certainty,” he said.

“The East Lismore project includes a 20% affordable housing target and land is also set aside for people to relocate homes.

“I would have liked to see a higher target for affordable housing and a definite target for social housing, because this region has about a 30%-plus shortfall in social housing compared to the state average.

“The Northern Rivers needs more housing close to services and public transport, and we need higher density housing.

“We are also hoping the federal Housing Australia Future Fund will finance much needed social and affordable housing for the Northern Rivers. This fund needs to target regional areas in acute housing needs, such as northern New South Wales.”