‘UNLOCKING LISMORE’: Cheaper house blocks are expected to create a housing boom and releasing of rental properties in Lismore.
‘UNLOCKING LISMORE’: Cheaper house blocks are expected to create a housing boom and releasing of rental properties in Lismore. DAVID NIELSEN

Lots of affordable housing for Lismore

LISMORE could see an affordable housing revolution over the next few years if plans mooted by Lismore City Council at a workshop go ahead.

Council plans to channel a $5 million Commonwealth housing infrastructure grant back into a generous $7400 affordable housing rebate, potentially guaranteeing hundreds of affordable lots across Lismore's urban area.

Cr Dowell estimated buyers could pay as little as a net $60-70,000, factoring in smaller-than-usual lot sizes, the proposed $7400 rebate and the current $15,000 first-home owners grant.

Negotiations with developers have already earmarked some 450 afford- able lots, including one already at development application stage.

At least 230 are planned for the North Lismore Plateau development, 175 at three new sites near Invercauld Rd, Goonellabah and 20 at the Pine- apple Rd development on the eastern fringe of Goonellabah.

"This is a breakthrough - we're using the words 'unlocking Lismore'," Cr Dowell said.

"People who are renting who didn't think they would afford to make the step to home ownership - this may well be the incentive for some of them to do so - and that frees those rental properties up for others."

The grant comes from the Building Better Regional Cities Program, which has designated funds for housing development infrastructure.

"It was only available for regional centres of certain sizes, so we were very fortunate," Cr Dowell said.

The grant will enable council to fund upgrades of at least two key road intersections without passing those on to developers in full via Section 94 fees.

To qualify under affordable housing criteria, a couple with two children can earn up to $116,000 and a single parent of two can earn up to $97,000.

Single or double adult households with no children can earn up to $88,000.

The proposal will be formally decided at Council's September meeting.



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