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How a new strategy is expected to tackle the escalating housing crisis in Noosa

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A new strategy has been adopted to address the housing crisis that’s gripping Noosa.

The plan was endorsed by Noosa Council, after extensive community consultation, at a Special Meeting.

The strategy includes support for development and redevelopment, the possible reduction of rates and fees and the potential of people renting secondary dwellings and short-stay accommodation.

Mayor Clare Stewart said the strategy responded to the growing community need for greater housing choice.  

“Affordably priced housing plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of people and their families, and social housing provides an important safety net for the community,” she said. 

“This council is proactively addressing the worsening housing crisis and the strategy provides a clear direction of what steps are within our power to ensure people have access to safe housing.”  

Fundamental to the strategy’s success is strong partnerships with the State Government, Community Housing providers, private housing developers and on-going dialogue with the local community.  

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart.

During the consultation on the draft strategy, 84 per cent of respondents were supportive of affordable and social housing in Noosa.  

There was also strong support for residential development and redevelopment, in appropriate areas, to facilitate housing that is affordable for households on low to moderate incomes.  

Survey respondents also supported the idea that Council should consider subsidising the delivery of more affordable housing through reduction or waiving of fees, charges or rates.  

 “We need to work with all stakeholders, existing property owners and levels of government to keep pace with growing demand for social and affordable housing,” Cr Stewart said.  

The Housing Strategy identifies planning scheme amendments to allow further small dwellings and housing choice within larger centres.  

“It reinforces a recent change by the State Government to allow secondary dwellings to be rented to people outside of the household,” the Mayor said.  

The strategy continues to protect the character and cultural values of the community, while integrating new affordable and social housing within the community.  

There are many properties in the region that aren’t always occupied, that could be rented out. Picture: Shutterstock.

The Housing Strategy highlights the need for ongoing monitoring of short-term accommodation in the shire and flagged further amendments to planning policy and compliance if it continued to limit permanent housing opportunities.  

There are more than 5200 self-contained dwellings used or available for short-term visitor accommodation.  

On Census night last year, Noosa had 4810 unoccupied private dwellings which didn’t include motels, resort etc. 

Mayor Stewart plans to write to vacant and short term let property owners, asking them to consider renting out their properties to locals amid the deepening housing crisis. 

“By writing to these property owners, we’re acknowledging that this crisis can’t be addressed in isolation and requires a community response.  

“This is a social disaster that impacts everyone in Noosa because business owners and social services are unable to fill vacancies, which affects everything from your morning coffee to provision of health services,” Cr Stewart said. 

The Housing Strategy includes regular monitoring and review to ensure any actions implemented are successful in meeting the strategy’s objectives – to enable housing choice, diversity and affordability to meet the current and future needs of the community.  

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