Bass Coast Shire Council has resolved to make six unused road reserves available for the development of social housing in Wonthaggi and Cowes.
The recently announced State Government Social Housing Growth Fund Regional Round Grant Program allocated a minimum of $25 million for the development of social housing in Bass Coast.
Funding through this Program is only available to registered Community Housing Organisations (CHOs).
Council will make three sites in Wonthaggi available to Salvation Army Housing and one site in Wonthaggi along with two sites in Cowes available to Community Housing Limited.
Each Community Housing Organisation will now undertake due diligence to determine which if any of the sites, they will include in a submission to the Social Housing Growth Fund Regional Round. This important planning work will also include the number and type of dwellings that will be considered for each site.
If any of these sites are selected, Council will also provide a letter of support for any application made by Community Housing Limited and Salvation Army Housing to the funding Program.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that offering up these unused road reserves is one very clear way of signalling to the community that Council is taking this issue seriously.
“It is clear that housing affordability is a major challenge. In Wonthaggi alone, house prices have gone up an estimated 20 per cent in the last 12 months,” Cr Whelan said.
“Homelessness can affect anyone, young or old. This is a wonderful opportunity and aligns with aspirations laid out in our recently adopted Community Vision and Council Plan,” Cr Whelan concluded.
In order to make the unused road reserves available for social housing, Council will follow the statutory process to discontinue the roads, as well and provide for any notice and community engagement requirements in relation to the sale or lease of the land.