MOU to tackle housing affordability

Orange City Council and Landcom have signed an agreement to deliver affordable housing in Orange.

The MOU is aimed at providing affordable housing options for low to moderate income households.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling said the signing of the agreement was a step towards building a more
equitable community in Orange.

“When the Community Strategic Plan was developed last year housing affordability was the number one issue facing the Orange community. The signing of this MOU shows we have listened and now we are getting on with delivering a solution,” Cr Hamling said.

“We want to work towards making sure Orange has a place for everyone to live irrespective of their income. Housing affordability is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted response. It can’t be solved overnight but we are on our way.”

Landcom CEO Alexander Wendler said there was a state-wide housing crisis and partnerships such as this were the way to deliver solutions.

“Councils have raised major concerns over the ever-growing housing supply and affordability pressures as the housing crisis continues to impact communities across the state. It is through trusting relationships and partnerships just like the one between Landcom and Orange City Council that we can deliver greater housing affordability and diversity to address the specific and unique needs of regional communities. We know that local Councils know their own communities best,” Mr Wendler said.

“Since 1976 Landcom has delivered more than 100,000 homesites across 240 projects within NSW. By 2030 we’re planning to deliver at least another 25,000 home sites with 40 per cent of our portfolio in Regional NSW.”

The MOU has identified the Gateway site at the eastern entrance to the city, which could deliver up to 230 new homes. In time other sites will also be investigated.

Next steps will be to assess the feasibility of the site in terms of access to services (water, sewer power etc.) and then commence work on rezoning. It is anticipated 12 to 18 months to turn the first sod.

There are a number of models to deliver affordable housing and under the MOU that could include agreements that set aside 25 per cent of a residential area for affordable purchasing or renting.

“At the Gateway site what Council brings to the table is land and Landcom brings runs on the board and close to 50 years of experience,” Cr Hamling said.

The signing of the MOU comes a week after figures were released that found a significant number of people in Orange were under rental and mortgage stress.

Shelter NSW released the NSW Regional Housing Need Index report last week and within this report it was identified that for the Orange Local Government Area 61 per cent of low-income households were experiencing rental stress and 39 per cent of low-income households were experiencing mortgage stress.

When households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on either rent or mortgage payments it is considered they are at risk of “housing stress” meaning they are likely to struggle to pay for their essential basic household needs such as food, clothes, healthcare and transport costs.

Affordable housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of very low to moderate income households. It is priced (whether mortgage repayments or rent) so these households are able to meet their other essential living costs.

Landcom is the NSW Government’s land and property development organisation. It is a State Owned Corporation working with government and the private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver exemplary housing projects that provide social and economic benefits to the people of NSW.

Landcom helps the NSW Government achieve its urban management objectives by taking a lead role in improving the supply, diversity and affordability of new housing. Its ambition is to create more affordable and sustainable communities.

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