Building towards affordable accommodation

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Surf Coast Shire Council continues to play its role in the affordable accommodation crisis, highlighted by a key step in the Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project and advocacy at state and national level.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) targeting Registered Housing Agencies have opened for the development of social and affordable housing at 2 Fraser Drive, Aireys Inlet. The EOI is also for the transfer of management of four existing social housing units at the site.

“This is an important milestone in the Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project, as we take another step towards being part of a solution to the affordable accommodation crisis in one of our coastal towns,” Cr Libby Stapleton said.

“We know that there are key workers, families, women and older residents who are struggling to stay in the place they call home because it is becoming harder to afford it. While this is a national issue, the Fraser Drive project is an example of Council working with community to do what we can to address the crisis.”

The EOI process will accept submissions from Registered Housing Agencies until 21 April. Registered Housing Agencies are not-for-profit Community Housing Organisations that provide safe, secure and affordable rental homes for people on low and middle incomes.

Proposals will be assessed based on the community’s vision and objectives for the site, as identified through engagement which included four drop-in sessions, an online survey and submissions, and an independently-led workshop with 16 community members and two Surf Coast Shire councillors.

“Thank you to everyone who provided input during the first engagement phase. It has laid the foundations for how we can create social and affordable housing at Fraser Drive,” Cr Stapleton said.

“While we don’t know exactly what the housing will look like and how many people it will house, community members will be informed of progress and can register for project updates via

“After a co-design process, the broader community will have opportunities to have their say, including during an exhibition period.”

Meanwhile, Council will move motions to support initiatives that address key worker and affordable housing shortages at the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) State Council meeting on 19 May and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) General Assembly from 13 to 16 June.

Council will move a motion for the MAV to call on the Victorian Government to conduct another Secondary Dwelling Pilot and Code to test the use of secondary dwellings for long term rental accommodation (not short-term holiday stays). It is requested that the pilot include a variety of regional and urban municipalities, including a coastal community.

Council will move a motion for the ALGA to call on the Australian Government to permanently enable a Working Holiday Maker visa holder to work for up to 12 months with one employer and give hospitality jobs ‘specified work’ status, to enable such workers to apply for extensions to visas in subsequent years.

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