At a time when many regional towns are facing unprecedented housing stress, Shelter NSW welcomed the NSW Government’s initial announcement of the Regional Housing Taskforce. Regular readers will remember our recent articles about housing challenges for regional NSW and our submission to the taskforce.
On October 1 we were very happy to commend Chair, Mr Garry Fielding, and his team for a comprehensive, informative and honest set of findings released on that day.
“There was a big risk that a planning taskforce, run by a planning guy, would produce a narrow set of findings. We’re delighted however, that the Taskforce has recognised that the problems of housing unaffordability can’t be reduced to simplistic ideas about supply and red tape”, noted CEO Shelter NSW John Engeler in our media release.
“In recognising the complexity of the housing system, the report highlights the cold, hard reality for many in regional NSW – living in acute housing stress or even just in dwellings that are the wrong size or in the wrong place for where they are in their life cycle. We commend the Taskforce for pointing to the need for targeted intervention to produce more social, affordable and diverse housing options”.
You can read more about the report in this ABC News article where CEO John Engeler is quoted.
In light of recent Government announcements we are definitely looking forward to seeing the taskforce’s recommendations. And of course, our own regional housing project is nearing completion.
In the meantime, we will continue to build momentum for change across regional NSW.
Some of our efforts include:
- research support provided to Dr Joe McGirr, Member for Wagga prior to his presentation at a CWA session on housing and homelessness (chaired by Ms Rachel Whiting, also the CEO of Regional Development Australia (Riverina) a commonwealth agency). Access to the videoed session is here. Dr McGirr and Shelter NSW references appears at about 1:03.
- Discussing the need for investment in social housing on the mid-north coast – watch the TV news video here
- Speaking in support of a motion to develop an Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme (‘AHCS’) in the Orange local government area.
- Local Council Housing Forum attended by many advocates, council staff, current/aspiring Councillors.