Port Stephens is not immune from the widespread affordable housing and homelessness crisis. These issues used to be more of a Council responsibility which over time moved to the State. However the State has been divesting its social housing stock and homelessness services battle for funds.
When elected to Council I will pursue a report to inform a Homelessness and Affordable Housing Strategy, that complements and builds on Port Stephens Council’s Local Housing Strategy. This may include policies such as:
- A Council land purchase or gift for affordable housing, partnering with the State Gov’t (DCJ) and a local community housing group,
- Introducing an Affordable Housing Contribution Scheme (SEPP 70 – built into Council’s LEP), which requires developers to contribute to Council’s affordable housing strategy,
- Development consents requiring a percentage of new developments (such as over 55 villages) to be dedicated affordable housing,
- Introducing incentives for owners of vacant properties and holiday lettings to increase the number of permanent housing rentals,
- Council owned affordable housing such as a retirement home or crisis accommodation,
- Use of Council holiday park cabins and powered sites for vehicles as temporary short term accommodation – particularly in low seasons.