Housing mini-summit to begin search for affordable housing solutions

New research that sheds light on Orange’s future needs for more affordable housing is set to be outlined at a council-organised event next week.

Orange City Council is hosting a Housing mini-summit in Orange next week to begin the search for solutions.

The research, compiled by Orange consultants Premise, will be unveiled at the meeting. It shows the proportion of Orange residents who are currently feeling ‘housing stress’ and how that number is expected to grow in future.

Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said the summit is part of a new strategy to hear from all sides of the housing sector.

View of Orange residential area

HOUSING: A housing summit will look at future options for delivering housing in Orange.

“There’s no doubt that Orange will need more affordable housing in the future, but it’s also clear that the solutions to a problem like this will be complex,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “We’re aiming with this summit-approach to bring together some expertise from different sides of the problem.”

“We might find some answers. We might go away with all sides getting a better understanding of what the problems are. It all helps us move forward.

“So far we’ll have researchers, policy makers, housing providers and developers all agreeing to come along and be willing to share their views. That’s great start.

“The event will also be a good opportunity for community members to come along and get their heads around these issues which we’ll be dealing with as a community for years to come. Whether it’s a proposed new development in my neighbourhood or a big-picture acknowledgement that new approaches to housing will have to happen somewhere in Orange, I’m hoping this summit will give us all some ideas to think about. “

Orange City Council’s Planning & Development Committee chair, Cr Russell Turner, said the summit is the latest step in the process as Orange City Council develops a new Local Housing Strategy.

“The Local Housing Strategy is a wide-ranging plan that the NSW Government wants every council to develop,” Cr Russell Turner said. “The focus of this event will be to look at the specific issues around affordable housing, social housing and homelessness.”

“It’s important for the community to wrestle with questions about whether local councils have a role in sorting these issues, or whether we should leave it to the market or government-funded agencies to deal with.

“There’s clearly a need for affordable housing in Orange, but how should that happen? These are important topics for debate, and I’m hoping community members can come along next week and be better informed.

The Housing-mini-summit will be held from 6.00 to 7.30pm Monday 16 December in the Council chambers. A panel of ‘experts’ will be questioned by a facilitator, and there will be time for questions from the floor from community members.

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