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Council adopts Housing Strategy, asks for new directions

By June 8, 2022News

After an extensive community consultation, Orange City Council has adopted the new Housing Strategy, a document that aims to deliver land to provide housing for the next 20 years.
The strategy identifies new areas of rural land that can be released for housing.

The strategy includes plans for five-yearly reviews to monitor the rate that the new areas are opening up for housing.

HOUSING STRATEGY: Council has adopted the new strategy, which aims to deliver land to provide housing for the next 20 years.

Orange City Council’s Planning and Development Committee chair, Cr Jeff Whitton said he was pleased with the new document.

“It’s been a huge amount of work by staff, consultants and the community to put this new Housing Strategy together,” Cr Jeff Whitton said. “The state government asks Councils to prepare strategies like this to ensure we have enough land for housing into the future.”

“We’ve exceeded those targets and shown we will be able to deliver enough water for a population of 60,000.”

“While this strategy is essentially about getting ahead of the demand for land, the community consultation has shown that residents also want to see action on a long list of problems such as the need for more social and affordable housing. I’m pleased there’s an action list we can get on with.”

The Council decided on an action list to look for solutions to problems such as housing for essential workers, the shortage of long-term rental accommodation, how to deliver more medium-density housing and the residential expansion of villages.

The action list includes a plan to organise a local Housing Summit that brings together a broad range of stakeholders, and to report back on affordable housing solutions by the end of this year.

Action List

The Council meeting asked staff to:

  • Prepare a new infill development strategy to guide the development of more medium-density housing
  • Review the current skill shortages in the city and prepare an essential-worker housing policy or strategy that may guide direct or indirect provision of housing for locally essential workers and address skill gaps.
  • Prepare a local Short-Term Rental Accommodation policy to provide more longer-term rental stock.
  • Consult with the village communities of Spring Hill, Lucknow and Spring Terrace to gauge the level of interest in preparing scoping studies that may ultimately lead to minor expansions of these communities.
  • Prepare a Local Affordable Housing Policy giving consideration to the variety of affordable housing options available, depending on Government funding. The Policy shall also examine creating an Affordable Housing Contribution Scheme (AHCS) and Community Land Trust (CLT) to support the intent of the strategy.
  • Audit public Council land that could be used by Council, in partnership with community housing providers and/or Government agencies, to develop new social and affordable housing dwellings, and prepare a report for Council on the results of the audit.
  • Organise for Council to host a local Housing Summit that brings together a broad range of stakeholders including Government agencies, community housing providers, providers of mental health services, strategic planners and representatives of relevant peak bodies, to discuss issues and proposed solutions to the housing affordability challenges facing the city, before the end of 2022.
  • Prepare a Homelessness Policy that identifies principles and actions, including partnerships and advocacy roles, for Council to contribute to efforts to end homelessness in Orange.

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