Alpine Observer

No quick fix on housing strategy

Shire working on number of fronts to tackle challenges

- LAURIE SULLIVAN

IT will take years to develop a housing strategy for Alpine Shire, according to Mayor John Forsyth.

He said housing availabili­ty and affordabil­ity issues need more than a short-term approach.

“We have designed a pipeline of strategic work to help address these complex issues into the future,” Cr Forsyth said.

“Council’s Land Developmen­t Strategy is currently being undertaken, and we have commenced work on an Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Plan which will look at the range of affordable housing issues and options for addressing them.

“However, there is a larger piece of strategic planning work to be undertaken over the next few years to support the developmen­t of a wider Housing Strategy and then the appropriat­e Planning Scheme Amendments that may flow from this.”

Meanwhile, a pilot program to address a shortage of available housing for key workers in the Alpine Shire has received a $260,000 boost with a grant from the Victorian Government.

There is currently a critical shortage of affordable housing for key workers in the Alpine Shire, which is having a severe economic flow-on effect.

Council highlighte­d the issue to politician­s and advisors during the regional sitting of Parliament in Bright in April.

Cr Forsyth said work is already underway on a Key Worker Housing Pilot Program to address the shortage of key workers in local communitie­s in the short-term.

“We’re extremely grateful for this funding, which will help us work with our community and implement this unique pilot program,” he said.

“We have already connected with key stakeholde­rs and gained a strong understand­ing of the issue - we can now progress with project planning, creating a key worker registry and working with our communitie­s to address this issue.

“We are working with local real estate agents and accommodat­ion providers and will be engaging with local chambers of commerce in the design of the program.”

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