Council commits on proposal to increase affordable housing
Published on 07 February 2024
A plan to boost affordable housing in Newstead and Maldon is one step closer following a recent meeting of Mount Alexander Shire Councillors.
In December, Councillors unanimously agreed on a proposal to allocate leases on two parcels of Council land in Maldon and Newstead for the purposes of affordable housing.
Under the plan, Council will lease land at 10 Steele Street, Maldon and 2A Canrobert Street, Newstead to Wintringham Housing to build and provide long-term, affordable rental housing for older shire residents on the Victorian Housing Register’s priority waitlist.
“I’m really proud of our Council for making this decision,” said Mayor Driscoll.
“This is a fantastic opportunity that’s come at the right time.
“We’ve got uncommitted Council land that’s suitable for housing, an appropriate funding source that enables housing for people in need, and a trusted partner in Wintringham, who are experienced in delivering housing projects that are sensitive to neighbourhood character.”
Wintringham Housing have a long history of providing well-designed and secure housing for people over 50 years of age who are on the Victorian Housing Register priority waitlist.
The decision by Councillors was made following an extensive community consultation period. This involved face-to-face meetings with community groups and stakeholder organisations, community information sessions, and an online and hardcopy survey.
As part of the consultation, people were asked whether or not they supported the proposal, with 85% of respondents in favour of Council allocating land in Maldon and Newstead for affordable housing.
“Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback with us during the consultation period,” said Mayor Driscoll.
“Your feedback has been invaluable in helping Councillors understand what residents think about this opportunity, and guide us in our decision-making.”
“Finding ways to increase affordable housing is one of my ambitions as a Councillor, and I’m pleased that this is another avenue we are exploring to make this happen,” he said.
Wintringham Housing are exploring funding opportunities to support the provision of affordable housing at the nominated locations in Maldon and Newstead.
If successful in obtaining funding, Wintringham Housing will engage closely with both communities in the design process.
“This is just the start of the process, and there’s a long-way to go before we will see new homes in the ground if this project is supported by future funding,” said Mayor Driscoll.
“There will be planning processes to navigate, and further community consultation but this is a start, and it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.
To find out more about Council’s work to increase affordable housing in the shire, visit www.shape.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/affordable-housing.
Snapshot on affordable housing in Mount Alexander Shire:
- $430 is the median weekly rent in the shire
- The availability of affordable rentals has declined by 20% since 2015
- 47% of shire households are in rental stress
- At least 14% of shire households are in mortgage stress
- 5,696 more people will call the shire home by 2046
- More than 700 households in the shire have an unmet need for affordable housing.