Since the last meeting, progress has been made on several fronts including State legislation around secondary dwellings and dual occupancy after my meetings with State Planners. This has resulted in a potential pilot for Noosa, which Council will be workshopping in the coming weeks. Given this would be under what is termed a ‘Temporary Local Planning Instrument’, once Council has formulated, the turnaround time with State is minimal. Good news, and one that provides multiple options. To have state and local government working together on this is invaluable, and much appreciated.
Housing providers are reporting a general improvement and increased interest to invest in affordable and community housing options following Mayor Clare’s Mayoral Minute.
Reports from attendees included the following:
- A site previously identified is under discussion by the Department of Housing with transportables available should there be a need during this crisis. However emergency accommodations organized with additional providers is still available, and until these are oversubscribed, this type of site would not be activated.
- Draft plans from not-for-profit organisations who own sites are underway for the over 55’s and people with disabilities.
- With the bid for the 2032 Olympics underway, there is opportunity to capitalize on infrastructure investment that could provide a ‘legacy’.
- Large organisations with potential land parcels banked in the area have indicated interest in possible community housing partnership options.
- Head leasing continues to be an option for landlords looking for guaranteed rent through and agreement providers such as Department of Housing, Coast2Bay or You Turn with an assurance that their property is being looked and subsidized for workers and our vulnerable.
- There is no need for anyone to sleep ‘rough’, however as we have found emergency or transitional accommodations have been refused for various reasons. A contact list for emergency housing assistance is on sandybolton.com/emergency-housing-contact-list/ The need for emergency phone contacts and information to be better displayed will be investigated as part of Noosa Council’s website options, and ours.
- Emergency options are investigated however it is important to understand what the need is, versus what is perceived. Congregate housing, shelters or sleep buses have been relegated by frontliners and those impacted as inappropriate. Private rooms and facilities that transition to longer term solutions is their focus than supporting and enabling ‘band aids’
- Cross sectional data is needed quantify the need within our community. One organisation has reported that they provided meals for approximately 300 people in 2019, but this increased to 1200 in 2020. With multiple organisations working in this space, we need individual unique identifiers.
It was another extremely productive meeting, and our sincere thanks to those on the group, and all within our community who continue to call and offer assistance. At the formation of the ‘HAG’ I stated we had 3 tasks – addressing the short (emergency), mid and longer term housing needs of our community. We have completed the first, advanced on the second, and well on the way in the third. If all goes well after the next couple of meetings, we should be able to ‘collapse’ the group, and only reform should there be specific items that are of concern.