By Jackson Russell

Two one-bedroom units owned by Mitchell Shire Council will be sold to the Rural Housing Network to maintain their roles as social housing for aged residents in Wallan.

Two units at the Wellington Street, Wallan, address were built as part of a five-unit complex by council in 1980 to be occupied by aged residents.

The Rural Housing Network, which trades as BeyondHousing, owns nearly 300 social housing properties and manages more than 400.

BeyondHousing is also constructing 10 new houses or units in Mitchell Shire and has ongoing funding applications for four more properties.

In October 2015, council approved the subdivision of the units into five separate titles and approved the sale of units one, three and four in December that year while units two and five were not sold to continue the leases of the occupying tenants until they chose to vacate.

Unit two was vacated in September 2018 and remains vacant while unit five is still occupied by the same long-term tenant.

In August 2019, council resolved to consider the sale of the two units to a registered housing association through an expression of interest process, with the Rural Housing Network being the only respondent.

BeyondHousing bought the two units for $200,000 each.

As part of the sale, the properties are required to be used for affordable social housing, if the property is sold, all proceeds will be reinvested into affordable housing within Mitchell Shire.

The current tenant of unit five will also be able to live there for as long as they wish with no change to their rental conditions.

North ward councillor Fiona Steven said it was once council’s responsibility to provide social housing to its residents.

“This is a great outcome because we couldn’t identify any greater purpose,” she said.

“We’re being true to the historical practice of previous councils but handing it over to the appropriate authority so it can serve the same purpose.”