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Affordable housing in Maldon and Newstead

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The TT [Tarrangower Times] attended a Consultation meeting at Maldon Neighbourhood Centre last week and met Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Housing Solutions Broker Clare Richards. Despite some perceptions, she explained that MASC owns very little property and most of that has a designated use. Council is currently considering allocating 49-year leases on land owned at Steele Street in Maldon and Canrobert Street Newstead to Wintringham Housing.

Wintringham is a specialist community housing provider focused on housing people aged 50 and older who are on the Victorian Housing Register priority waitlist. Assuming Wintringham can obtain grant funding, they would then build and provide long-term and affordable rental housing for older (50+) residents. Council’s role would be to allocate the leases to Wintringham at a ‘peppercorn’ (ie. very cheap) rate, to help with affordability.

Wintringham currently operates the cottages located at 72 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine, which house older community members. It’s a well-managed example of affordable housing aimed at very low-to-medium-income households that costs no more than 30% of income.

Mount Alexander Shire’s demographic is older than the state average, and the national housing crisis is as real here as elsewhere. People here have experience of living in tents, for example, and particularly for lone-person households on low incomes, such as the Aged Pension, it is difficult to find smaller, affordable rentals.

The consultation process will continue until 15 November; community meetings are finished, but submissions can still be sent to affordablehousing@mountalexander.vic.gov.au. Following this process, the outcomes will be presented to Council – hopefully, for in-principle agreement. Clare Richards described the community response as overwhelmingly positive.

You can find out more information from here: http://www.shape.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/affordable-housing.

Tarrangower Times 10 November 2023

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 10 November 2023.

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