While a strategic Federal and State government strategy needs to be developed to provide affordable, social and sustainable housing the addition of 12 extra social housing units in Lismore has been welcomed.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said she was delighted that her idea of transferring Laurel Lodge – former Lismore Base Hospital accommodation – to the Department of Communities and Justice, had been taken up by the NSW Government.
‘I saw this opportunity straight away when the 12-unit complex became surplus to NSW Health’s needs and immediately began lobbying the relevant Ministers – Brad Hazzard (Health), Melinda Pavey (Property & Housing) and Gareth Ward (then Families & Communities),’ Ms Saffin said.
‘I was pleased to see Ben Franklin MLC welcoming what I set in train months ago. Now that it has come to fruition, North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) will spend about $500,000 on refurbishing the units and they will be ready by late this year.’
Ms Saffin said she had worked closely with NCCH CEO John McKenna and other housing providers to lobby State and Federal governments to invest more funding in new affordable and social housing developments across the region.
‘The message I have been repeating is that the more people we can house, the better for our society, and the better for our local and regional economies,’ Ms Saffin said.
Ms Saffin also commended NCCH on its recent ground-breaking ceremony for a 30-unit development in McKenzie Street, Lismore, with the organisation contributing $6.5 million and securing $2 million under the NSW Government’s Community Housing Infrastructure Fund (CHIF).