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EDITORIAL


ISLAND HOUSING PLAN LISTED IN FEDERAL APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL FUNDING Redland City Council is to approach the Federal Government to seek funding to address a housing crisis on our islands. In a motion to the National General Assembly of the Local Government Association, in an application for funding to address the issue, it claims the islands of Moreton Bay under its jurisdiction has the ‘highest level of disadvantage in Redland City Local Government Area. It says: “This means that 97% of communities in Australia are better off agains social and economic indicators. This is in stark contrast to Redland City as a whole.” The information supporting the LG Conference motion says the key issues are: · The Southern Moreton Bay Islands are under resourced to address severe disadvantage, and housing options are extremely limited; · Redlands Coast’s six island communities have varying degrees of connectedness to the mainland. Many residents have strong ties to these communities, however, find it increasingly hard to secure stable rental accommodation that is affordable; · Young couples, individuals, and families are being priced out of Redlands Coast, and being forced to relocate in ‘more affordable areas’ away from support networks; · Housing stress contributes to flow-on impacts of mental health for those impacted; · A lack of availability of rental housing, and increasing rent pricing, could displace long-term residents from Redlands Coast, particularly vulnerable people; · Single older women, many who have limited superannuation to draw on, may struggle to secure suitable and affordable rental accommodation; · North Stradbroke Island experiences difficulty in sourcing and accommodating unskilled workers to support the tourism industry; · Supply for social housing has historically always outstripped demand, and so there is always a shortage of available housing stock. · The impact of recent flooding across Queensland and New South Wales is expected to see another increase in homelessness and housing stress. The report attached to the motion to seek increased Federal Government funding says some ‘opportunities’ could come from additional funding to assist in providing lower income housing on our islands. It says: • Social housing tenancies could incorporate a transitional framework to support people to become ready to enter community or private rental accommodation;. · Adequate resourcing of community housing providers to provide wrap around social support to tenants to maintain tenancies and stabilise mental and physical health of residents before they transition into private rentals, rather than return to social housing; · Innovative models of tenancy agreements, in all housing sectors (private, community and social) could be considered as these can provide necessary support for tenants to maintain tenancies; The report concludes that ‘Inclusive zoning’ could ensure that a reasonable proportion of future dwelling stock is supplied to the market and suitable for those on lower incomes. The Local Government conference is being held in Canberra on 19-22 June.