The challenge of housing, was formerly an urban issue, but Lithgow Council has recognised that it is a challenge for this city also.
People have discovered the regions, and that is the case for Lithgow. Work from home is now the norm so the long or short commute to a city isn’t so necessary today. Also, at any time Lithgow has a considerable itinerant workforce for major infrastructure projects and they need housing. Tourists also have seen some long-stay rentals converted to short-stay accommodation.
The Council has zoned land for residential housing, but that is not all being developed. It is uncertain whether there are material barriers to its development or if landowners are holding back that land for a future surge in the market.
But Lithgow Council is going well beyond zoning land and sitting back and waiting for this to come forward. The Council has approved and funded substantial actions which will be undertaken over the next year to address the challenge –
- There are considerable lands zoned for housing within Lithgow, but these are not being brought forward for development. A workshop is proposed with landowners to understand the barriers
- Council substantially funded planning studies to ready the Marrangaroo Urban Release Area for development. This has the potential for as many as 1580 lots. Now we are advocating to the NSW Govt to work with us for resolution of the road access to the estate.
- Council is currently working up residential development plans for their landholdings in South Bowenfels.
- We are reviewing the developer contributions framework to ensure it supports residential development and funds new infrastructure.
- A government and council working group has been formed to examine the issue of homelessness.
- Council will develop a housing strategy over the next 12 months. This will include extensive consultation.