Could a series of new subdivisions help ease the Clarence Valley’s housing affordability crisis? Picture: MATT THOMPSON
Could a series of new subdivisions help ease the Clarence Valley’s housing affordability crisis? Picture: MATT THOMPSON

Council: We must subdivide to conquer housing crisis

Could a series of new subdivisions help ease the Clarence Valley's housing affordability crisis?

Clarence Valley Council director for environment, planning and community Des Schroder said only time would tell whether or not they will make a positive impact toward the ongoing accommodation shortage.

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"We just don't know how big this machine is moving and how many people are moving to the region," he said.

"The rental pressure at the moment is mainly due to new jobs growth, particularly at the new Correctional Centre, then you have a lot of people who have bought a house and land package and are waiting for their new home to be built."

Mr Schroder said that, despite several planned subdivisions causing controversy among residents, the reality was such developments would help ease housing market pressure.

"The West Yamba development has the potential for a thousand new homes, while the James Creek development (which was withdrawn) would have provided another 300 homes, ten percent of which, by regulation, would have provided affordable housing," he said.

"The reality is, we need to keep overall land housing supply coming along and Grafton has plenty of land to keep the pressure off. But in the lower Valley, there's more restriction because of more flood-prone areas."

Mr Schroder said that the goal for Clarence Valley Council was to improve the balance between rentals and buying houses.

"Our plan is to have enough relief to take the pressure off and with up to seven thousand new homes across the region, it should help keep prices down to a reasonable level," he said.

"While some people don't like the idea of new developments coming into their neighbourhood, at the same time they have to realise that if they want their kids to have affordable housing in future, they need to look at the big picture for growing our region."