Big ideas and a collaborative approach were the themes of the day for industry professionals at a housing forum, hosted by Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) at the Dubbo RSL on Friday 11 June. The forum brought together industry professionals to discuss core factors and strategies to increase housing choice and diversity in the Dubbo region. The forum was chaired by Mr Adrian Hack, consultant and industry professional of Hill PDA.
“The purpose of today’s forum was to hear from industry professionals like real estate agents, service providers, business leaders and developers who are in regular contact with the community about housing choices. Participants today have come forward with a range of ideas and initiatives, ” said DRC Director of Development and Environment, Stephen Wallace.
The forum heard that Dubbo has in excess of sixty years’ worth of land zoned residential. However, it was also acknowledged by participants that State and Local Government Policy settings play a crucial role in ensuring the City maintains a healthy Land Supply Pipeline for a variety of housing types.
One of the challenges facing the Regions is the cost of constructing dwellings that are higher than two storeys. While these types of dwellings are more affordable to rent, they do cost more money to construct.
“Detached housing or semi-detached housing and villas tend to be a more cost-effective way to build homes in our region. When going above single-storey, it starts to add to the cost of construction and the market hasn’t been able to adjust for that type of development at this stage. It’s cheaper in Dubbo to have a larger lot for a single-storey dwelling – like a four bedroom home – than a smaller lot with a two or three storey development,” said Mr Wallace.
The forum discussed residential development in Wellington, which shows a very similar rental vacancy rate to Dubbo of 0.8% and considerable increase to the median house price in the last 12 months. .
“There have been some great opinions and ideas brought to today’s forum, and it is a good starting point to get the conversation going about the future of housing diversity,” said Mr Wallace.
The Dubbo Region Mayor Stephen Lawrence says from here, DRC will look at implementing a Housing Reference Group.
“The plan would be for Council to consult with the group about decisions going forward in the future. Any major decisions will always go through a community consultation phase, and DRC looks forward to bringing the community on its journey to a more accessible housing market for all members of the community,” said Councillor Lawrence.