Mid-town target for city renewal
HOUSING RELIEF: Rezone to ease crisis, curb sprawl
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.”