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'We must do all we can': input sought on a range of options to tackle housing emergency

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Community members have been urged to help ease a worsening housing crisis in a famous coastal town.

Noosa locals have been asked to help shape Noosa Council’s new Draft Housing Strategy, by answering a short survey, online or at pop-up stalls.

The draft strategy was aimed at creating more social and affordable housing to address the shire’s housing woes, with input from residents and stakeholders vital to the process.

The crisis has included rising rent prices that have left people devastated, while Noosa people have opened their homes to those with nowhere to go.

Also, more people were sleeping rough and being moved on or hit with fines and more people have been turning to support centres.

Acting Mayor Frank Wilkie said planning scheme changes, stronger advocacy, plus government and private sector housing partnerships were among the actions proposed for the draft strategy.

“It’s not council’s role to become a housing provider, but we must ensure we’re doing all we can within our local government remit to facilitate the creation of more affordable housing,” he said.

Noosa is a renowned holiday destination but locals are finding it increasingly hard to live there. Picture: Shutterstock.

“Possible actions include mandating new unit developments to contain a portion of social or affordable housing.

“It also proposes protecting existing residential areas for permanent residents and rentals against the proliferation of short-stay accommodation.

“The draft also proposes an investigation into the use of Noosa Council sites at Cooroy and on land outside the urban footprint off Cooyar Street, Noosa Heads, for social housing, plus the role tiny homes might play in housing residents on public land.

“This strategy proposes actions for council to help keep Noosa home for those who live here and are at risk of being squeezed out by the high cost and lack of housing.

“We’re being realistic. The range of draft solutions will look to house hundreds of residents rather than thousands.

“In order to ensure the strategy is as comprehensive as possible we need to hear from as many residents as possible. Whether you’re 18 or 89 your feedback is vital.”

Noosa has struggled with a housing crisis, essentially since COVID started and house prices increased. Picture: Shutterstock.

Council said it needed community input to ensure the strategy addressed all aspects of the housing crisis.

Have a say on the online survey at Noosa Council or check out the Draft Housing Strategy display at Noosa libraries.

There will be a number of Q&A pop-up sessions held at the library displays during the engagement period. The consultation will run for four weeks, closing at midnight on Sunday, August 7.

As well as answering the survey, residents were urged to take a look at the Draft Housing Strategy to understand the actions proposed.

“The finished strategy will give council a clear plan to help address the housing crisis in our shire, while making sure we uphold the things that make Noosa an appealing place to live such as the character, look and feel of our towns and villages and our design principles,” Cr Wilkie said.

For more, visit Noosa Council.

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