Lismore City Council (LCC) and local developers will provide 200 new affordable housing lots as part of a deal struck with the federal government this week.
Under the arrangement, LCC and various developers will subsidise around 10 per cent of the lots in new land release areas across the city for affordable housing.
In return the federal government will provide $5 million for three major road upgrades to allow access to the new housing estates without creating congestions of Lismore’s already busy roads.
The housing scheme will give 200 eligible residents (including single parents with an income under $88,000) $20,000 grants to build homes on lots at new developments at North Lismore Plateau and Sanctuary Hills as well as Invercauld Road and Pineapple Road in Goonellabah.
‘We have 2,000 new land release lots coming on line in the next few years and to have 200 affordable housing lots means we are making inroads into one of the biggest challenges facing Lismore, which is a lack of affordable housing and housing choice,’ Lismore City Council’s integrated planning manager Steve Denize said.
‘Having more affordable housing is essential for the social wellbeing of Lismore into the future. We need growth and we need infrastructure to support that growth, but we also need housing that people can afford.’
But according to Page MP Kevin Hogan the project almost fell over at the last hurdle until he convinced federal social services minister Kevin Andrews to approve a variation in the funding for the project.
‘As a result of the number of late changes to the project by Lismore Council and the looming deadline for completion, the funding for the entire project was under serious threat,’ Mr Hogan said in a media release yesterday.
‘When I was approached by Lismore City Council to try to save the project, I immediately lobbied Mr Andrews. Thankfully he agreed with me.
‘I would like to congratulate Lismore Council for their fantastic support in getting this project over the final hurdles.’
Echonetdaily asked Mr Hogan’s office what the late changes were but did not receive a response before deadline.
A spokesperson for Lismore City Council said, ‘Council had [offered] 160 housing lots and the federal government wanted a better deal so we upped it to 200 lots’.
The spokesperson denied the project was under ‘serious threat’.
Lismore City Council has entered into voluntary planning agreements with the projects’ developers – Winten, Everingham, Pollard, the Plateau Group and Zorzo – which have committed to making land available for specific affordable-housing purposes.
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