Housing crisis

$2.9 million plan to ease Darlington Point housing crisis

The conceptual plan of the subdivision.

A $2.9 million subdivision development is proposed for Darlington Point, as a way to alleviate the housing crisis in Murrumbidgee.

It is just part of a wider campaign being explored by the Murrumbidgee Council, with Chief Executive John Scarce and Mayor Ruth McRae recently speaking with Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins to chart a way forward.

The concept for the Darlington Point subdivision was developed in 2012 under the former Murrumbidgee Shire Council.

The project has been officially included in Murrumbidgee Council’s budget for this fiscal year.

‘This will fill a significant gap in the housing supply at Darlington Point, which currently sees a significant number of people working in our council area, but not having the option of residing elsewhere,’ Mr Scarce said.

Housing availability and affordability are important priorities for which council will continue to work with other levels of government to find solutions. »

In its role as developer, Murrumbidgee Council will use a combination of grants and loans to develop the site.

The Young Street subdivision will consist of 50 lots.

Mr Scarce said the council was waiting for some final designs before they could start the project.

“Because of different things that happened over time, the key change was to electrical standards, he said.

“We are awaiting the electrical overhaul and we have been promised to receive it in eight weeks.

“Once the electrical overhaul is complete, we will be able to begin developing the housing estate.”

Mr Scarce said in the meantime the council would continue to investigate and look for other options to alleviate the housing crisis locally.

This includes advancing its Affordable Home Ownership Program, intended to address the difficulties businesses have in finding staff due to limited housing options.

The program offered a “lease-to-own” arrangement, in which a percentage of an employee’s salary is taken from their paycheck and applied to capital and household expenses.

The Council wrote to the Minister about the program in June.

Mr Scarce said given the critical shortage of all accommodation in Australia, it was reassuring to have been recognized and a reunion facilitated so quickly.

The Zoom chat took place on August 18.

“The opportunity to promote an ‘affordable’ housing initiative that could benefit and promote housing within the council’s footprint – and would activate a collaborative approach involving federal, state, local government and industry in an inclusive manner , was extremely important,” he said.

“The Council received a very fair hearing and a level of interest was generated.”

The Board has now been asked to quantify the need for the program. He will contact local employees to gather information.