REVEALED: $8.6m social housing plans for Coffs
MISSION Australia has unveiled their plans to ease housing stress in the region by building a five storey unit block in the Coffs Harbour CBD.
The $8.6m project on 3 Duke St is part of the not-for-profit's push to provide more affordable housing across the state and will feature 40 one-bedroom apartments within walking distance of shops, services and transport.
Unveiling the plans today, Mission Australia CEO James Toomey said the "exciting new development" would provide vital community infrastructure and contribute to much needed housing in Coffs Harbour.
"The two indoor communal rooms for tenants to share and run activities, as well as outdoor areas for resident initiatives such as community gardens, will be important places that will support residents to maintain their wellbeing and connect with their local community," he said.
"Mission Australia's Community Development team and the Tailored Support Coordination Service will support residents to identify goals, develop plans and connect tenants with education and employment, while ensuring they are linked to the right services for tailored support to meet their needs."
The development was approved by Coffs Harbour City Council in April and is described in the Statement of Environmental Effects as being a "new generation" boarding house which would cater to both youth tenants and seniors.
The two separate tenant groups will occupy different floors of the building.
"The term 'new generation' boarding house reflects a shift away from the typical dormitory style boarding house to a very different, contemporary product, where each unit is self-contained with kitchenette and ensuite," the SEE states.
"The proposed boarding house is modern with state of the art design and interiors, generous outdoor landscaped communal areas, Wi-Fi and lift access to all building levels."
Mr Toomey said there was a shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes Australia-wide and in Coffs Harbour there was a five to ten year wait for social housing due to there being 800 people being on the waiting list.
"For locals finding it hard to afford rentals, or struggling to find a safe place to call home, providing more affordable housing in the region is a vital step towards housing the 1,073 people who are homeless on any given night across the Mid North Coast and the many more who are at risk of homelessness," he said.
Despite the need for more housing, in May Coffs Harbour councillors voted unanimously to reject a proposal for a boarding house in Gundagai Place, just 1.2km away.
There was clear public opposition to the plans which would have created housing for 19 people in 11 rooms and councillors opted to go against the staff recommendation by voting it down.