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Putting a focus on housing affordability and diversity

Tuesday 28 March 2023

AlburyCity has endorsed the Albury Local Housing Strategy at its Council Meeting on Monday night.

In the past five years, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our population has grown significantly, and housing affordability and diversity has become a more prominent issue in our community.

The Albury Local Housing Strategy provides a robust plan for how and where housing is delivered to solve these issues, and meet the needs of our community now and in years to come.

In Australia, housing policy is a web of interrelated decisions influenced by all three levels of government. Due to this dispersion of responsibilities, making an impact on the supply, diversity and affordability of housing requires a collective effort and commitment across all levels of government.

Council policy levers such as the application of zoning laws and development controls can influence the local housing market, as well as advocacy to, and partner with, other levels of government to increase investment in the region.

An example of this is AlburyCity's recent partnership with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, signing a collaboration agreement to fast-track 540 social and affordable homes, and around 700 homes for the private market in Albury.

In developing the Local Housing Strategy, an intensive background analysis of Albury's current housing market explored things such as population growth and demographics, changing lifestyles and consumer desires, property types, rental prices and property values, and available affordable and social housing.

Close consultation with the local community, as well as key government, development industry and community organisations, through polls and surveys, drop-in sessions, phone interviews, and industry forums was a key component in developing the Strategy.

The most common issues raised through consultation included:

  • Supply: Ensuring facilities and community infrastructure keeps pace with new housing developments, with preferences for a variety of housing types to meet the needs of both families and smaller households.
  • Diversity: A wider housing mix espscially medium density options like townhouses and duplexes to provide more affordable options for smaller and lower income households.
  • Affordability: Support for more social and affordable housing, as well as disability housing, seniors and aged care housing, student housing and migrant housing.
  • Resilience: An increased focus on the environmental sustainability of housing and ensuring it is more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.

Mayor Kylie King said the Local Housing Strategy focuses on advocating to and working with other levels of government, creating partnerships with local housing providers, and reviewing local planning controls.

"Our community has told us they want more affordable and diverse housing across our city, so we will continue to work with Goverment to ensure Albury is getting its fair share of resources, review planning controls to minimise constraints and provide incentives for development, and support housing providers to enable them to deliver the housing we desperately need," Mayor King said.

The Albury Local Housing Strategy can be viewed on the AlburyCity website.