Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

The proposed location for an affordable housing development in Wollert.

By Aleksandra Bliszczyk

A petition against a proposed affordable housing development in Wollert has garnered more than 2,000 signatures, prompting debate on social media.

At last month’s council meeting, City of Whittlesea administrators decided to lease land to a community housing organization for a 50-year period, after a council report showed that demand far exceeds the supply of affordable housing in the municipality and that the gap will continue to grow with the growing population.

The petition was started by a resident who lives 900 meters from the proposed five-acre development site on 1F Ashline Street Wollert, who says the development will devalue his property.

The council has responded, saying there is no sign that it will affect house prices.

“There is no evidence that home values ​​are affected by affordable housing,” said City of Whittlesea CEO Craig Lloyd.

“What we do know is that there is a significant shortage of affordable housing in the city of Whittlesea, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has left more people without incomes and or significantly reduced incomes.”

Every fifth household in the City of Whittlesea is classified as a very low-income, and every third household that rents experiences housing stress, which is defined as spending 30 percent or more of the household income on rent.

The price of affordable housing in Wollert is 0.7 percent, far lower than Greater Melbourne’s average of 2.6 percent.

As of December 2020, there was no rental housing available in the Epping North and Wollert area for very low-income households.

There are currently at least 630 homeless people in the city of Whittlesea, and the municipality has one of the highest levels of domestic violence in the city of Melbourne.

“We urgently need more housing for low-income people,” Lloyd said.

“The Victorian government is investing in the funding of the Big Build program to help address this critical shortcoming, and the council is looking at ways we can also support our residents in finding affordable housing.

“The Ashline Street proposal in Wollert is about providing attractive, high-quality local housing to the local population, which is affordable in a location close to parks, schools, shops, public transport and other facilities. The Council consults the community on this proposal before taking a decision. ”

The Community Consultation was open for one month and closed yesterday. The results of the public consultation and the Council’s decision will be heard at the ordinary Council meeting in December.

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