Council takes action on housing crisis

Published on 27 May 2024

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Are you a builder? A business who needs housing for workers? As you know the critical shortage of housing in rural and regional Victoria has reached an alarming level, posing a significant challenge for communities across the state.

Swan Hill Rural City Council faces an especially urgent situation exacerbated by the region's growth in agriculture, manufacturing, education, health, and potential mining jobs and they are calling on the assistance from locals.

Council’s Mayor, Cr Stuart King said despite job opportunities, the housing shortage was impacting individuals' ability to relocate to the area and fill these crucial roles.

“Council recognises the severity of this issue, and as a direct result last year facilitated a forum and gathered approximately 120 community representatives concerned residents. The group not only discussed the pressing challenges but, more importantly, collaborated on potential solutions. The gathering served as a forum for community members to voice their concerns and contribute ideas toward addressing the housing crisis collectively,” Cr King said.

Council’s Director Development and Planning, Michelle Grainger said Council had taken inspiration from the enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated during this forum and was proud to announce the proposal to establish a proactive initiative Housing Action: Greater Swan Hill.

“Housing Action: Greater Swan Hill aims to harness community engagement and foster partnerships between residents, local businesses, government agencies, and stakeholders to address the housing shortage comprehensively.

"This group is a testament to our community's resilience and determination to tackle the housing crisis head-on and we encourage more to join.

“If you are interested in assisting, please consider attending the Greater Swan Hill – Housing forum.

"By joining forces and leveraging the collective expertise and resources of our community, we are confident in our ability to generate innovative solutions that will make a tangible difference in addressing this pressing issue,” Ms Grainger said.

Cr King said the proposed initiative will focus on exploring various strategies to increase housing availability and affordability.

“Through initiatives like Housing Action: Greater Swan Hill, we seek to assemble stakeholders from property, construction, development, education, and infrastructure sectors to work collectively towards addressing the housing shortfall,” Cr King said.

As the proposal for Housing Action: Greater Swan Hill progresses, Council encourages community members, organisations, and stakeholders to actively participate and contribute their insights toward shaping the future of housing in the region.