13 December 2022

Housing crisis prompts Eurobodalla council to develop new strategy

| Zoe Cartwright
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Campground homelessness

Homelessness has reached such a critical point in the Eurobodalla that an estimated 50 families are living rough at North Head campground. Photo: Karyn Starmer.

Buying or renting in the Eurobodalla Shire is providing difficult for many people, and the council is looking for new ways to address the burgeoning homelessness crisis.

Mayor Mathew Hatcher said nearly half of all rental households in the region were now in rental stress, and the cost of buying a home had almost doubled since 2020.

“Until recently, Eurobodalla was relatively affordable, with house prices significantly below the state average,” he said.

“This is no longer the case.”

Cr Hatcher said there were no easy answers and it would take a concerted effort at all three levels of government to remedy the shortage.

Some solutions already put forward by the council included extending stays at caravan parks and limiting the number of days short-term rentals could be let out, in an attempt to boost crisis accommodation and rental housing stock.

Both proposals were knocked back by the State Government.

READ MORE Planning department refuses both proposals to address housing crisis

General manager Warwick Winn said the council was developing a Local Housing Strategy to identify the actions required to meet the shire’s housing needs.

“We have a short online survey running right now and I urge residents to take part,” he said.

“The results will help us understand what the community see as priorities in housing and will feed into our draft strategy, which will be out for public exhibition in early 2023.

“The strategy will identify demand for new and different types of housing over the next 20 years and pinpoint actions to meet this demand by assessing the capacity of existing residential land, the types and sizes of new homes, and appropriate locations for development.”

Eurobodalla’s housing and support agencies have been involved in the development of the draft strategy so far, along with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the Land and Housing Corporation, Southern Cross Housing and SEARMS.

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The survey is open until Tuesday, 20 December.

For more information and to participate in the survey, visit the council’s Eurobodalla Local Housing Strategy webpage.

The community will have a further opportunity for input when the draft plan is exhibited early in 2023.

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