Fresh look at lo­cal hous­ing

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

THE so­cial co-hous­ing con­cept plans for Wan­garatta’s Rail­way Precinct brings a breath of fresh air in prop­erty de­vel­op­ment to the ru­ral city.

Medium den­sity, eco­log­i­cal friendly hous­ing with some shared fa­cil­i­ties and overnight rental above and com­mer­cial space out front all on the one site is cer­tainly rad­i­cal for the outer fringe of the CBD.

Whereas dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of this de­vel­op­ment are not strangers to Wan­garatta it is rev­o­lu­tion­ary on the one site and opens up fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties for other 21st cen­tury think­ing in lo­cal prop­erty at­ti­tudes.

While many might think that bring­ing ‘city style’ liv­ing to the coun­try seems to con­tra­dict the rea­son for a tree change there are some who re­lo­cate to the coun­try who pre­fer to live in ur­ban style neigh­bour­hoods.

What we don’t know as yet is the cost of the apart­ments and although there is likely to be de­mand for this unique de­vel­op­ment from mid­dle in­come pro­fes­sion­als it would be good to see sim­i­lar think­ing for more af­ford­able hous­ing and rentals.

Wan­garatta, like most of Aus­tralia, has been suf­fer­ing for a num­ber of years with a se­vere short­age of af­ford­able hous­ing and rentals forc­ing many in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to ei­ther pay more than they can af­ford for some­where safe and com­fort­able to live or to re­lo­cate in search of se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Too many also have no choice but to live on the streets and it is not al­ways young sin­gle peo­ple caught in this malaise.

Medium den­sity qual­ity af­ford­able hous­ing is des­per­ately needed and it would be in­spi­ra­tional to see a de­vel­oper put for­ward a sim­i­lar con­cept for this so­cial hous­ing de­vel­op­ment to cater for that de­serv­ing mar­ket.

It would be equally im­pres­sive if the coun­cil cre­ated in­cen­tives or placed covenants on cer­tain de­vel­op­ments to guar­an­tee some af­ford­able hous­ing con­struc­tion was to take place.

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