Jannine Barron, Mullumbimby.
My dearest friends from Sydney just sold their home for a crazy price in Sydney and they have purchased a property in Mullumbimby. They were left with plenty of change so it was a great deal for them but it is one of many purchases that is putting affordable housing out of our reach more and more.
I’m grateful they will be my neighbours but it worries me that they are one example of hundreds of people that have seen our property market become out of reach for my kids and my friends. I have friends living in cars, in garages, looking desperately to rent, let alone buy, so they can keep their kids in school and keep their jobs.
Affordable housing is the most pressing issue of our Shire and we are in a total crisis. I am so grateful for the activism and initiative of projects like Brunswick Eco Village. Not only is it a beautiful place to potentially live, it is a very real, innovative option for affordable housing that has been designed and supported by longtime locals and professionals looking for affordable ways to continue living in this Shire.
The success of BEV impacts upon future potential developments in our Shire. More housing will be built in our Shire whether we like it or not; developments like West Byron have shown us this. So what do we want, people? I say lots of affordable communities – otherwise we are at the mercy of developers encouraging individual ownership only by those who can afford it.
It’s great to see Byron Shire Council approving pilot programs for affordable housing and I’m pleased to see that BEV is now one of these options to explore.