Before Christmas ten households will be moving into affordable rental homes at Bend, the eco neighbourhood off East St (near the old race-course in Bega). The houses have been well designed and will be energy and water efficient, cheap to run and north-facing looking over the Bega river flats.
The building program is staggered with four of the ten not-for-profit rental houses nearing lock up and the others under construction.
Jenny Spinks, a formation member of the Bega Eco Neighbourhood Developers Incorporated said, “Tenants will have all the benefits of living at Bend – not only energy efficient homes with composting toilets but also access to a neighbourhood house with laundry, a centralized grey water treatment system, agricultural land on the river flats, and access to the Bega River anabranch in the Bend conservation area.”
Tenants will be members of Bega Eco Sustainable Tenancies, the housing management group, and will be able to participate in management decisions about the housing, including tenant selection. They’ll also be invited to participate in decisions about the whole eco neighbourhood alongside the residents of the other 20 households at Bend.
There are still vacancies for people interested in renting at Bend. “Application forms are available on line at www.bend.org.au, or people can contact Heidi at 6494 5388,” said Jenny. “Tenancies are available in three income brackets with an even spread across all three. Very low and low income tenants will need to apply for a T number from the Department of Housing in order to be eligible and their rent will be 25% of their income (100% of Commonwealth Rent Assistance). Moderate income tenants will be paying 75% of the market rent.”
Community Housing Ltd (CHL) is building the houses at Bend and will be the long term property and tenancy managers. Successful in securing State and Federal funding for this project Steve Bevington, Managing Director, CHL says, “We are very proud to be the partners for this project. These will be quality-built socially and environmentally sustainable affordable homes that offer a wonderful new living environment to the tenants. These homes will be a long term resource for the Bega community that will add to the level of much-needed affordable housing stock in the area. We look forward to many more of these partnerships in the future.”
One of the ten homes will be owned by Bega Eco Sustainable Tenancies and finance for this comes from the 10% equity that the not-for-profit local developer, Bega Eco Neighbourhood Developers Inc, has committed to their partnership with CHL.
“We have raised $185,000 of the 10% equity and we have $70,000 to go,” said Jenny. “Tax deductible donations can be made either on line at www.bend.org.au; or by depositing into the National Australia Bank, BEND Housing Fund, BSB 082-439, Account No: 81-082-3199; or by sending a cheque to the BEND Housing Fund, PO Box 715, Bega 2550. Please provide your contact details if you require a receipt,” she said.
Jenny is excited to be reaching completion of the ecological and socially sustainable Bend eco neighbourhood project. “It has only been possible because of many hours of voluntary work; thousands of individually donated dollars; information and skills generously shared by many local professional people; and other support from the Bega community and community organisations, “ she said. “Bend is already attracting people to Bega and broadening the region’s economic base. We are very proud to be able to provide a socially inclusive model of ecologically sustainable living – perhaps the only one of its kind in the world.”
For more information on CHL, contact:
Media and Communications Coordinator
t 03 9856 0050
m 0430 555 241