The proposed re-zoning of land at 49 Taylors Road, Croydon for a community housing project represents a crossroads in the community’s understanding of affordable housing and its importance to the Shire of Maroondah.
Local residents are objecting to the development despite the fact that although the land has been zoned public open space it has been the site for a house for many years. An environmental report commissioned indicated that a small part of the site has intact native vegetation which will be retained as part of the development.
“While home ownership is highly prized, many simply can’t get a foot in the door. Community housing is a unique way for people to live within their means, have longterm tenure, and make a contribution to the health of the community,” says Steve Bevington, Managing Director of Community Housing Limited (CHL), the not-for-profit organisation responsible for constructing the project then maintaining the homes over the next 40 years.
The chief issue facing many young families in the City of Maroondah is the rise in house prices which have doubled in the area over the past 5 years. Alongside a lack of private rental properties people are facing increasing housing loan and rental costs.
Community housing has been a growing presence throughout Victoria, and is increasingly being seen a mainstream answer to Victoria’s housing affordability crisis.
Community housing is defined as good quality, affordable housing in which below-market rents are paid (around 75% of market value). Ownership is not the objective, but simply the provision of affordable, long term housing. The landlords are not-for-profit community housing companies that develop these properties either through purchase or construction and often in association with community partners, local councils, and state governments which may contribute land or capital. The community housing company then collects the rent, maintains the property and carries out all other management tasks.
People on lower incomes starting their careers are vital for local employment and provision of all manner of essential services such as maintenance, childcare, retail and even nursing and young teachers all trying to get a foothold in an increasingly difficult housing market. These residents must be given opportunities to settle in order to make economic, cultural, and community contributions to Maroondah Shire. Without these options people who have grown up in the City of Maroondah will be forced out onto the Melbourne fringe.
“ The most important outcome is that young people starting out in life, young families bringing their children up and essential key workers are able to stabilise their lives by finding affordable housing, and have used the opportunity to build their lives and careers. In order for Maroondah to support the next generation of home owners and families, affordable housing is a critical part of keeping Maroondah liveable and the community strong.” says Mr.Bevington.
For more information on CHL, contact:
Coordinator – Marketing and Communications
t 03 9856 0021 m 0430 555 241