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COMMUNITY FORUMS INFORM HOUSING STRATEGY FOR GRIFFITH CITY

Grant funding from the Building Better Regions Fund has enabled Council to commission a detailed analysis of the current state of housing availability in Griffith. This evidence-based study, undertaken by Dr. Judith Stubbs, forms the basis of a Housing Diversification Strategy for Griffith and seeks methods of increasing access to diverse and affordable housing options for key target groups in the city experiencing housing stress.

Housing stress and lack of availability of affordable housing is a common theme across Australia, with a recent report released by UNSW City Futures Research Centre indicating more than one million social and affordable homes will need to be built in Australia by 2036 to meet demands. Locally, Griffith will require additional dwellings to be built to accommodate the expected increase in the workforce due to additional jobs being generated in the poultry and other manufacturing industries.

The study has already produced some very detailed findings. Alarmingly, in Griffith in any given year, there are up to 2,175 homeless people and 2,796 marginally housed people. The study also indicated that due to the low supply of affordable dwellings, some Griffith residents in severe housing stress are paying more than 50% of their weekly income in rent.

Director Economic and Organisational Development, Shireen Donaldson said the study will provide potential strategies designed for the local area which can be implemented by Council, the private sector and the community housing sector.

“Using data collected from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, id.community demographic data and interviews with local stakeholders, a comprehensive pool of information will inform the Strategy and shape potential strategies,” said Mrs Dondaldson.

“As part of the development of the Strategy, two community consultation sessions were held last week to discuss the initial draft report from Judith Stubbs and Associates and the proposed strategies”.

During the sessions, attendees were presented a number of strategies designed to encourage development of affordable housing with community members providing valuable input.

“Both sessions were well attended by key stakeholders, developers, real estate agents, builders, architects, investors, community members and Councillors and provided valuable feedback which will be essential in the development of the Strategy,” she said.  

“Areas identified out of the consultation sessions included development obstacles, community needs, and the high demand for affordable rental properties.”

Strategies to stimulate housing developments include possible re-zoning around the CBD as well as a review of Council's Development Control Plans (DCPs), which is currently being undertaken by Council Planning staff. The Strategy will also include the consideration of housing options such as New Generation Boarding Houses and Manufactured Housing Estates and the development of partnerships of key stakeholders for the direct creation of affordable housing.

Recordings of both sessions are available online at Council’s Facebook page at facebook.com/griffithcitycouncil

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