Horsham Rural City Council lobbies for affordable housing

HORSHAM Rural City Council and Wimmera Development Association will lobby for more affordable housing in the municipality.

Both parties have advocated for implementation of the National Rental Affordability Scheme in the rural city.

Ballarat-based Elmstone Group approached the city council in June 2013 to provide a letter of support for new housing investment in the region.

The group is proposing housing construction worth $19 million in Horsham, which would start mid-2015 and be completed in 12 months.

Under the national rental scheme, the group would build and retain ownership of the properties while renting them at 80 per cent of the market rental.

Horsham chief executive Peter Brown said council strongly supported the group’s proposal to invest in the rural city through the rental scheme.

“Horsham has a strong market for high quality housing, but the market is weak for development in the affordable housing area and we certainly welcome any investment,” he said.

“The need for additional affordable housing in the Wimmera has a strong evidence base and is well supported by a number of regional plans and studies.”

Mr Brown said council was concerned about the city’s ability to accommodate workers at the proposed WIM150 sand mine, with more than 200 people to be employed under the current plan to start construction in 2015.

The Elmstone Group has applied for round five funding, which is being assessed by the Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews.

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