Central Coast Council has developed a Draft Council Affordable Housing Land (CAHL) Proposal which is currently on Exhibition.
This proposal has been drafted as a framework for identifying Council land sites for affordable housing developments.
The CAHL Proposal is a recommended action of the Central Coast Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy (CCA&AHS) specifically linked to the direct creation of affordable housing. Research undertaken during the Strategy development found an additional 7,300 households on the Central Coast will be in need of affordably priced housing. However, since the 2020 Pandemic it is predicted these figures could be higher due to an influx of new residents through increased inward migration and job losses from the effect of the state government restrictions.
The CAHL Proposal outlines:
- The process for identifying Council sites that could be potentially utilised for affordable housing.
- the benefits of the proposal
- benchmarks, tenure mix and design
- procurement and potential partnership options to provide the best financial and social outcomes for the community and Council
We know that our community is very interested in the provision of affordable housing and we are seeking input from our community to ensure the framework for developing affordable housing on Council owned sites reflect what current and future users want to see.
Submissions were to be addressed to the Chief Execurtive Officer, Mr David Farmer between 28 April and 16 May 2021, via:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post: PO Box 20, Wyong NSW 2259
- Post: PO Box 21, Gosford, NSW 2250
- or the online submission form (now closed).
Something you need to know: Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act, 2009 (GIPA ACT), members of the public can seek access to the submissions and council cannot give assurance that the document will remain confidential.
The CAHL Proposal is the Council Affordable Housing Land (CAHL) Proposal. The CAHL Proposal is the framework Council will follow when identifying Council land sites for affordable housing developments.
The CAHL Proposal is a recommended action (Strategy 4) of the Central Coast Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy.
The Central Coast Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy (CCA&AHS) was adopted by Council in 2019 and is the outcome of detailed research and community consultation conducted by Judith Stubbs and Associates over a 12- month period. This included strong commitment and input from local community and industry groups, and elected representatives and staff of Central Coast Council. The Strategy is based on 3 main themes focusing on:
- the creation of affordable housing,
- the facilitation of affordable housing through planning mechanisms and
- the intervention and prevention of homelessness.
The CCA&AHS will be implemented in several stages over the next 10 years with the initial focus on strategies that are most likely to have a practical impact on the supply of affordable housing, including developing multi tenure affordable housing in partnership projects on surplus or underutilised Council land.
There is a common misconception that affordable housing refers only to social or community housing, however affordable housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of households on low to moderate incomes. It is priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, education and medical care.
A common benchmark is housing that does not absorb more than 30% of the gross income of very low, low- or moderate-income households.
There are a range of reasons why anyone in our community might need affordable housing, for example:
- young people seeking to live closer to educational institutions such as TAFE or university
- recently separated people with children, who are now on a single income and can no longer stay in their family home
- older people whose spouse has passed away and are on a reduced retirement income.
Social and community housing is government-subsidised housing and supported accommodation for people who cannot afford ordinary housing. Priority for social and community housing goes to those in greatest need.
On the Central Coast, the supply of social and community housing is much lower than in Greater Sydney and is declining. The current waiting list is 10+ years for all types in the former Wyong LGA and is anywhere from 5-10 years in the former Gosford LGA.
With its convenient proximity to both Sydney and Newcastle, the Central Coast is an area of constant growth increased by in-migration; particularly people relocating from Sydney. As more people move to the LGA the need for housing increases. This in turn increases competition and raises house prices and rents. The effects of this are positive for existing homeowners and investors but adversely the negative effects are placing more households on the Central Coast in housing stress and displacing others into homelessness.
Affordable housing ensures that people on the Central Coast who earn lower incomes can live close to where they work, it provides opportunities for adult children to move into their own place and provides low maintenance well located housing for our aging population to “right size”. It is the missing middle housing in the housing continuum that allows people to progress through renting and into home ownership if they so desire.
Mixed tenure is residential development which combines a range of tenure options, which can include owner-occupier housing, shared ownership housing and rental properties (social, affordable and private). The focus of mixed-tenure development is fostering greater social, economic and community mix to support thriving and sustainable communities. This model provides housing opportunities for a range of different people and promotes social inclusion for all residents plus it allows the cross subsidisation of developments to ensure feasibility.
Action 4 of the CCA & AHS states that any development must be compatible with the local character of the area.
Any development, whether it is affordable housing or not, can generate negative concerns that it could potentially impact quality of life and amenity for the people living or working close by.
Opponents of proposed affordable housing projects frequently cite worries about the potential impact of a development on neighbourhood quality of life, claiming that the development will result in an increase in crime, traffic and/or noise, that it will create or worsen problems with parking, or that it will be poorly maintained.
Affordable housing developments will not only will have to comply with specific design guidelines but will also be subject to a Social Impact Assessment and include a Plan of Management to ensure these issues are mitigated.
We know that our community are very interested in the provision of affordable housing. To ensure the framework for developing affordable housing on Council owned sites reflect what current and future users want to see we are seeking input from our community.
It is imperative we continue to plan for the needs of the community. This project is cost neutral to Council and represents a better use of underutilised Council assets. By carrying out this engagement at proposal stage, we ensure the community’s views are considered and included in the final product.