After several delays due to COVID-19 absences and Parliament commitments, April saw our last official Housing Action Group meeting.
Following a year of working closely with Noosa Council, Department of Housing, various Community Housing Providers, and with support from state planners and others, the Housing Action Group has fulfilled its purpose in bringing the main stakeholders together to identify the contributors to our housing crisis and work to the emergency provisions and long term solutions. Current members will transition to Noosa Council’s soon-to-be-launched Housing Roundtable in line with their draft Housing Strategy about to go before Council.
A brief update from this latest meeting:
- State Government are now working with local councils on ‘localised housing action plans’, and we look forward to tangible outcomes from their discussions with Noosa Council.
- Clarification again regarding secondary dwellings, and while we await more information to be released in the Housing Strategy once ratified around the offer of a Temporary Planning Instrument from state last year, the discussion was that, currently, you can build one as when a secondary dwelling does not contain a separate laundry it can be referred to as a ‘modular home with 2 kitchens and a shared laundry’ or ‘private space’. For those seeking finance, it was suggested to refer to the secondary dwelling as ‘home hosted’ or ‘boarding’, which also has tax benefits. However, given the ambiguities we have found around this, we suggest each individual seek advice directly from the Noosa Council planning team, as well professional financial advice where necessary.
- The feedback provided from members on the draft Council’s Housing Strategy was discussed, and the ratified strategy will soon be released for public comment.
- Various ‘adopt a worker’ programs being considered also came with a caution, as according to the Rental Tenancy Authority, those hosted in this way are considered as having full tenancy rights by week 13, which would necessitate formal eviction processes and any disputes being subject to QCAT determinations.
- With the ongoing shortage of worker accommodation, Sunshine Coast Regional Council will be revisited to seek permission to utilise transportables on the former House with No Steps that they had previously negated.
- Coast2Bay will be opening an office in Tewantin by June providing more on the ground support in our area in relation to community housing and accommodation.
Whilst this may have been the last Housing Action Group meeting in this format, we look forward to the commencement of the Roundtable and working together in the implementation of an action plan from the strategy. There remains much to be done at all levels of government to see those medium and long term housing solutions in our community, and we thank again all who have been involved during this time. Even though there has been many frustrations, we can finally see light at the end of what has been a long and bumpy journey with more hurdles than we had anticipated!