Councils band together to address housing shortage in region

Northern Grampians Shire, Pyrenees Shire and Ararat Rural City Councils are keen to work with developers and investors to address the housing shortage in the Grampians and Pyrenees regions.

Staff from all three councils will attend the Build to Rent Australia conference this week to gain a better understanding of this housing model, engage with developers and investors about what considerations they factor into their decision making, and to develop networks for potential future housing developments.

With local real estate agents at times having reported a vacancy rate of less than 1%, the ability to attract people to the region as a place to live has proved difficult given the shortage.

With major projects popping up around the region creating a large number of jobs that the existing workforce can not fill, the councils have partnered with AMES Australia to attract migrant families to relocate to the region to fill these roles.

However, to take on these jobs, the families require long term rental options to successfully settle, but the lack of rental options prevents this and also jeopardises the local industry’s efforts to grow.

Kara Kara Ward Councillor, Tony Driscoll said, “From our perspective we’ve got somewhat an embarrassment of riches with the many job opportunities coming up, so to fully capitalise on that and the benefits it brings, we really need additional housing.”

“Grouping together with Ararat and Pyrenees through the OPAN project has allowed us to look at different ways to engage with developers and investors to hopefully increase the amount of properties for purchase and rent within our region.”

Director of Monaghans Real Estate, Terry Monaghan said, “The rental shortage is a massive problem, we just don’t have the stock available for tenants to rent which is not a good situation for Stawell.”

“We’re in desperate need of extra rental stock, some new subdivisions in town would be a big help, but this is not a new issue as it’s been going on for three or four years, and we’re losing dozens and dozens of people to the town each year as a result.”

“The facilities, infrastructure and job opportunities here are good but we need the properties to be able to support that.”

Opportunities Pyrenees Ararat and Northern Grampians (OPAN) is a three year project to directly address the existing and future shortage of skilled and unskilled workers across the three shires.

Areas of focus include workforce planning, migration, housing and transport.

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