Greens call for smaller lots to ease housing crisis
MINIMUM lot sizes should be reduced to 200 square metres to address the growing housing crisis according to the Coffs Harbour Greens.
They have outlined their approach in a submission to Coffs Harbour City Council as it considers a new Local Growth Management Strategy.
Council is in their final week calling for submissions on Chapter 7 of the draft strategy.
In the draft strategy, Council has recommended a Compact City Model that will see new developments for Coffs Harbour focus largely on infill or redevelopment within existing residential areas.
Coffs Harbour Greens convenor Jonathan Cassell says it's a positive sign that Council is consulting with community to make housing more affordable, but their draft strategy does not go far enough to address the growing housing crisis.
"Tragically, with housing being unaffordable in our area, people can't easily find rental properties or buy their own home," Mr Cassell said.
"Coffs Harbour Greens are concerned that the most vulnerable in our community will continue to slip through the cracks making homelessness a bigger problem in the future."
They have suggested that Council modify the minimum lot size to 200 square metres instead of the current proposal for 300 square metres.
"We believe the cost of land is a major hurdle in making housing more affordable. If Council made parcels of land smaller and set planning controls for smaller homes to be allowed with consent, then we will be seriously helping people negotiate barriers to getting a home."
Research from the Australian government shows women over the age of 55 are most at risk of housing and financial stress. As a regional area that is quickly growing, many local women are the ones most likely to be facing housing stress.
"We don't think it's too hard to see the social and economic benefits of small land lots coupled with small dwellings. Council have a chance to make our community stronger over the next 20 years and not simply incentivise developers and big-city investors", Mr Cassell said.
Jamie Parker, NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for Planning says smaller lot sizes are an easy way to make homes more affordable.
"My family lives comfortably in a home on a lot size that is less than 140m2 in the inner west of Sydney where smaller lot sizes are the norm.
"I speak from experience when I say that a lot size less than 200 square metres comes with real benefits for the environment and residents," he said.
Submissions to Council draft Chapter 7 of the future of Residential Lands can be found on Councils website under the link Have Your Say and are due this Friday.