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March 2, 2021

Affordable housing

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Len Bates, Mullumbimby

Bill Shorten announced an affordable-housing package on the weekend. It gives developers $8,500 every year for 15 years ($127,500 per unit ) if they build units and charge 20 per cent less rental than market value.

What a rort! For a start, market value is whatever you can get for the rent. There is no set market price a reduction can be compared to. This is similar to the NSW state governmnent scheme that KOHO use in their many Kollective units in the Shire. KOHO are supposed to reduce rents by 20 per cent and in return they get lots of benefits including only having to provide one carpark for every two units.

The 20 per cent decrease in rent is only for ten years and then they can charge whatever they like and/or sell the units at market price.

In Sunrise Estate the rentals for a single-bedroom unit are between $400 and $450 a week. How that is supposed to be affordable is beyond me. This ALP policy announcement does nothing to help with affordability, nor does it do anything to help anyone buy their home.

This policy is a ruse for not dealing with the real issue that would make a big difference to housing afford-ability – abolishing negative gearing, a tax-deduction scheme that just helps the rich get richer.

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

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