A very well attended, lively and productive Blue Mountains Housing Summit was held on Monday 27th June in Lawson. Shelter NSW was invited to participate on a panel by former employee and member of Shelter NSW, Karen Van Woudenberg, who is a very active local resident and now the CEO of Thrive Services in the Mountains. Chaired by the Office of Trish Doyle, the Member for Blue Mountains, our CEO John Engeler spoke alongside the CEO of the Tenants’ Union, Leo Patterson-Ross. They discussed alternative housing models that could be used to help address the increasing crisis of housing affordability, security and suitability across the whole mountains, from Penrith to Lithgow.
The Summit included attendees from all levels of government, the broader community and private sectors. Low vacancy rates, increasing rental costs, the role of CHPs, ‘meanwhile use’, the issues regarding short term rental vs tourism accommodation, and the housing needs of local workers were all strong areas of the focussed discussion. Shelter NSW is now keen to pursue an opportunity to present to Blue Mountains City Council specifically about how more Affordable Housing can be delivered in the area. Thanks to our committed member Karen for the opportunity to present!