Mid-town tar­get for city re­newal

HOUS­ING RE­LIEF: Re­zone to ease cri­sis, curb sprawl

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - JIM ALOUAT Ur­ban Af­fairs Re­porter

A RE­VAMP of Ho­bart’s mid­town area to cre­ate medi­um­den­sity res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments to curb Ho­bart’s hous­ing woes is part of new Ho­bart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds’ vi­sion for the city.

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, Ald Reynolds re­leased a list of her poli­cies and plans for Ho­bart if elected, and the ac­tion she wants to take to see them be­come a re­al­ity.

“All of my poli­cies are de­signed to make it clear for the Ho­bart com­mu­nity what my in­ter­ests and pri­or­i­ties are,” Ald Reynolds told the Mer­cury.

“The of­fice of mayor is a po­si­tion of in­flu­ence and lead­er­ship, not di­rect power.

“So as I set­tle into my new role I will be think­ing about my work plan and how I can ad­vance th­ese ideas over the four-year term.”

Ald Reynolds wants to see a re­newal of mid-town, the area be­tween the CBD and North Ho­bart, to be­come an area full of medium-den­sity, af­ford­able hous­ing within the next decade. This, Ald Reynolds says, will re­quire re­zon­ing of some com­mer­cial and light in­dus­trial areas to mixed use.

“The mid-town area is an ex­am­ple of a part of the city where valu­able land is tied up with a land use that is not par­tic­u­larly strate­gic for the city,” she said. “Where there are cur­rently dozens of car yards we could have dozens of four- to five-storey medium-den­sity res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments. But un­less the coun­cil proac­tively states its vi­sion for the area, has dis­cus­sions with landown­ers and con­sid­ers pro­vid­ing zon­ing in­cen­tives, noth­ing is likely to hap­pen very quickly.”

Ald Reynolds said in Ho­bart’s es­tab­lished sub­urbs many older peo­ple were liv­ing in large houses but strug­gling to main­tain them.

“Many of th­ese res­i­dents are keen to stay in their area, but they of­ten can’t find the money or time to make mod­i­fi­ca­tions to their home,” she said. “We could add to our hous­ing stock and help older Ho­bar­tians if we pro­vide in­cen­tives to peo­ple to con­vert part of their house as a granny flat, on the ba­sis that the home­owner signs an agree­ment to keep the granny flat in the per­ma­nent rental mar­ket for at least five years.”

Ald Reynolds also said the north­ern sub­urbs rail cor­ri­dor was the per­fect lo­ca­tion for fu­ture res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment of Ho­bart. She sug­gested manda­tory and vol­un­tary in­cen­tives to in­clude 10 per cent af­ford­able units in all new res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments and 30 per cent af­ford­able hous­ing units on coun­cil-owned land along the rail cor­ri­dor.

“Rather than sprawl­ing up bush­fire-prone and bi­o­log­i­cally im­por­tant hill­sides or out into the sub­urbs, the area along the cor­ri­dor is a more sus­tain­able, af­ford­able and strate­gic area for Ho­bart to en­cour­age fu­ture growth,” she said. “I have al­ready been work­ing on this with Glenorchy Mayor Kristie John­ston.”

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