16.7 C
Byron Shire
September 19, 2021

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

Latest News

Police arrest 32 in protests across the state

Police say they have prevented the mass gathering of people in various locations across NSW, arresting 32 people and issuing 265 Penalty Infringement Notices in a coordinated and mobile response to planned protest activity.

Other News

Next disaster

I am impelled to bring to your attention the next environmental disaster. We’ve had plastic bottles, single use plastic...

Teacher shortage hitting schools across NSW

With the mandatory vaccination date getting closer, the NSW Teachers Federation says there is already a shortage of teachers.

Planning staff back Wilsons Creek DA, residents’ concerns downplayed

Residents living near a proposed 15-lot housing development in Wilsons Creek say it will negatively impact a precious wildlife corridor on the site, exacerbate traffic safety problems on the surrounding roads, and damage the peaceful character of their quiet enclave.

Queensland passes voluntary assisted dying laws

Dying with Dignity NSW has welcomed the passage of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland and is hoping that NSW Parliament resumes next month so that this issue can be addressed in NSW without further delay.

Byron’s CBD heights limits pushed – again 

The developer behind a new, multi-storey motel to be built in central Byron Bay has applied to further increase the height of the building, despite having already been allowed to exceed the maximum height limit for that part of town.

A moment of your life?

Six questions for Jehovah’s Witness doorknockers: 1. Are you aware that the 2016 Royal Commission into Institutional Handling of Child...

Mia Armitage*

Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins. Photo David Lowe.

The Lismore City Council joined its Byron and Tweed Shire counterparts last week in declaring a housing emergency.

Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins said the declaration at last Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting happened alongside unanimous support for her idea to have staff investigate affordable housing and medium density opportunities in urban areas.

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

‘We’ve been trying to encourage people to build them by waiving contributions for water and sewer but there’s been no uptake, Cr Ekins said, ‘so what my motion hopes to do is start a conversation with developers, builders, about what the barriers are to building medium density and what kind of things council could offer’.

An example of modern medium-density housing. Image NSW Dept of Planning & Environment

no more ’70’s style unit blocks

Councillor Ekins said a priority for Lismore was more units but told Bay FM’s Community Newsroomon she didn’t want to see ‘seventies’ style’ unit blocks built around rural parts of the local government area.

The Greens’ councillor said modern designs allowed for more suitable medium-density developments to be considered.

Many of Lismore’s existing CBD buildings have two or more storeys and Cr Ekins said she supported the idea of more ‘shop-top housing’ but the challenge would be to bring the sometimes considerably older structures in line with residential building compliance codes.

Cr Ekins’ successful motion also included a $50,000 budget in the next financial year for implementing recommendations from a future staff report on medium-density potential.

That report is to be presented to the council at its July meeting.

Cr Ekins said the council decision to declare a housing emergency would likely lead to creation of an affordable housing strategy for Lismore.

The adoption of such a strategy in Lismore would make it the second local government area on the Northern Rivers to have one after the Ballina Shire Council voted to develop an affordable housing strategy earlier this year.

*Mia Armitae is a member of Bay FM

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. So, you want us to go only as far as “beggars can’t be choosers.” I want a home, not poor housing for poor people.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

COVID update – sewage detection in East and South Lismore and Byron Bay

Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people in the Lismore City and Byron Bay areas to get tested for COVID-19, after fragments of the virus were detected in samples from the East Lismore, South Lismore and Byron Bay sewage treatment plants.

The old slouch hat

‘This is my favourite,’ we say espite the painfully obvious fact that we all, from time to time enjoy a wide variety of hats. Jon Summers, Suffolk Park

The year 2000

I must answer David Heilpern. Remember 2000, how the computers were all to fail on NYE? How could so many get it so wrong? Why...


Viruses are organisms at the edge of life and possess genes, evolve by natural selection, and reproduce by creating multiple copies of themselves through...