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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Homeless housing for Tweed

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Menkit Prince, Uki

Kudos to Councillor Cooper for not dropping the ball on the concept of a sustainable, tiny-house village for the homeless. It’s about time the Tweed Council did more for the homeless in our Shire than support agencies delivering services.

MP Geoff Provest is right when he says $5.1 million from state government for services to the homeless is not enough to make a dent.

What homeless people need more than anything is their own place, however small, to restore their dignity and self-worth. That’s why Cr Cooper’s motion to establish an affordable housing village in Wardrop Valley (with shuttle buses into town) is a step in the right direction.

Why is it taking so long to actualise this simple solution when it is working so well overseas, for example at the Community First! Village on 51 acres in Austin. The purpose of this community is to lift the most chronically homeless off the streets and into a place they can call home. Residents live in about 100 RVs and 125 micro- homes with plans to add another 310 units in the near future. That will take care of 40 per cent of the chronically homeless. Pretty good start, eh?

Seems like a model for success especially as it’s sustainable and off the grid. Tweed Council owns the proposed site so there is no land purchase required. Infrastructure costs can be recouped from rent paid by residents over time.

What an accomplishment this would be!

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