AFFORDABLE HOUSING: North Coast Community Housing's opening of Rainforest Creek was attended by NCCH Chairman John Stone and NCCH general manager Fiona McConnell.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: North Coast Community Housing's opening of Rainforest Creek was attended by NCCH Chairman John Stone and NCCH general manager Fiona McConnell. Marc Stapelberg

New G'bah affordable housing units revealed

WITH more than 3200 people on the waiting list in the Northern Rivers a new nine-unit development couldn't come soon enough.

Rainforest Creek, located between Lombardo's Fruit Market and the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre, was officially opened yesterday with a traditional smoking ceremony.

The two-bedroom townhouses were built by North Coast Community Housing without any government funding.

Four of the units will be for sale, with three others to be offered at 80% housing rental market rate. The last two, including a fully wheelchair accessible unit, will go to community housing tenants.

NCCH chairman John Stone said the new model seeks to make sure tenants aren't penalised if their circumstances improve.

"If at some stage they are in a position to buy a home, they could purchase the unit they have been living in," Mr Stone said.

This seamless transition encourages rather than penalises people for improving their lives and gives stability to the community they live in.

Mr Stone said the next project was under negotiation but would entail 30 units with another couple of sites in the pipeline.

NCCH general manager Fiona McConnell said despite the normal challenges, the project had been enjoyable and they had adapted on the run and completed the project ahead of schedule.

"It is very close to services from where we are, it has a fantastic outlook on to the creek and it has a small yard which is fully enclosed," she said.

The opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Lismore MP Thomas George, Lismore deputy mayor Gianpiero Battista, and several councillors.

Mr Stone and chief executive John McKenna and staff offered tours of the new development.

Mr George congratulated the NCCH on its new housing model. "It will provide a seamless transition rather than penalising people," he said.



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