Long wait for affordable rentals

RESIDENTS would have a 12 to 14-year wait for subsidised housing in Byron Shire, it was revealed at a workshop in Byron Bay on Monday night.

Affordable housing in Byron Bay might sound like an oxymoron, but the council is committed to trying to increase the number of affordable rental properties in the shire.

“Fifteen years ago it was seven years, so a lot of people are not even bothering to get themselves on a list, so we have no real idea of how bad problem is,” mayor Jan Barham said.

“Byron has been referred to as the most unaffordable place in the State, if not the country.”

The council currently has its draft affordable housing strategy on public exhibition and Cr Barham said it would be approaching the state and federal governments for financial assistance.

“We own land where we want to build affordable rental housing,” she said.

“If we're willing to take control of the project, they should assist us in delivering it.”

Cr Barham said the council was currently subdividing land it owned at Ocean Shores and may use the proceeds to help finance affordable housing.

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