25 December 2022

Sale of Cobargo housing complex will allow for more affordable housing

| Albert McKnight
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Cobrago. Photo: Visit NSW

A housing complex in Cobargo has been sold to Southern Cross Community Housing. Photo: Visit NSW.

At a time when the Far South Coast is battling its way through a housing crisis, an affordable housing complex in the region has been sold with the condition that the sale proceeds will be put towards similar additional infrastructure in the Bega Valley.

Bega Valley Shire Council has announced it and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) have finalised the sale of Cobargo’s Narira Village Complex to managing agent Southern Cross Community Housing (SCCH).

The shire’s mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick, said the sale of the 10-dwelling complex would pave the way for investment in more community housing in the region.

“Not only does the completion of the sale mean the facility will continue to operate for the benefit of the community as community housing, but it also allows council to move forward with our commitment to reinvest the sale proceeds into new community housing stock in the shire,” he said.

A council spokesperson said council owned an 83.7 per cent share in the property and NSW LAHC owned the remainder.

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“Council has a partnership with both Southern Cross Housing and the Department of Communities and Justice to develop more community housing in the shire,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said.

“The sale means we now have the funding needed to begin delivering on this commitment.”

The price of the sale was confidential, the spokesperson said, but as part of the sale agreement SCCH must invest the sale proceeds into affordable housing in the Bega Valley.

“Southern Cross Community Housing is the only accredited community housing provider in the Bega Valley Shire and is looking at a substantial development in the Bega area which these funds are proposed to go towards,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said.

However, the council spokesperson said the sale agreement did not specify what the substantial development was that the funds would go towards.

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The spokesperson said addressing the housing needs of the Bega Valley was a key focus for council and it had adopted plans and strategies with goals and priorities aligned to this divestment.

For instance, the Affordable Housing Strategy contains 27 short, medium and long-term strategies to support housing development and address the affordable housing crisis in the shire.

Strategies include planning changes, advocacy, brokerage and the direct creation of affordable housing.

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