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June 24, 2024

Social housing ‘gives back’ with $200k of community improvements

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Upgrades to local sporting facilities, security lighting and improved wheelchair accessibility are just some of the benefits that north-coast neighbourhoods can look forward to after North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) received $216,800 in community improvement grants from the state government.

NCCH business and community developer, Tracy Akerman, said the group was ‘thrilled to have won five of the six projects we submitted, as they’ll not only benefit our tenants but their neighbourhoods as well. ‘

NCCH worked closely with councils, police liaison, tenants and community groups in Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Grafton LGAs to assess what was needed in each area.

In Goonellabah, Elders Memorial Park will get a $47,040 refurbishment to repair and upgrade the basketball court and a second project worth $47,676 will fund the installation of new security lighting and sanitation facilities at a local community housing development.

One of Byron Bay’s social housing properties will have security lighting installed within the complex to improve night-time visibility and security in the neighbourhood.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith welcomed the funding to help improve safety in Byron Shire.

‘Putting the money towards street lighting will benefit the residents at the community housing development but it will also increase the feeling of security for the wider community,’ she said.

Residents at a Tweed Heads social housing complex will soon have a wheelchair friendly footpath to access local shops thanks to a $46,200 grant.

Until now, elderly residents and visitors with mobility issues have been forced to use the driveway and share the road with vehicles. The new footpath will provide improved accessibility for everyone who lives in the neighbourhood.

According to John McKenna, CEO of NCCH, ‘We’ve been providing community housing on the NSW far north coast for over 32 years and know our communities well so it’s great to have this opportunity to provide more facilities and services where they’re needed most.’

The Social Housing Community Improvement Fund is an initiative of the NSW Department of Families and Community Services, providing $20 million over three years to improve the liveability and amenity of social housing communities.


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