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Mitchell Shire Council to investigate housing solutions

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Mitchell Shire Councillor Bill Chisolm put forward a notice of motion at the June 26 council meeting for council to address housing affordability and housing stocks.

Cr Chisholm’s motion requests council officers prepare a report looking into the feasibility of expanding the draft Social Housing and Affordability Strategy to include measures designed to assist people building new homes, as well as increase housing stock generally for residents already in the Mitchell Shire.

The motion passed unanimously.

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“Some of the people out there think this probably isn’t a responsibility of council to get involved in the Social Housing and Affordability Strategy, but I can assure that idea is completely wrong,” Cr Chisolm said.

“It will require all levels of government to work together to achieve housing affordability and social housing, and we’ve all got a responsibility in that space.

“The whole idea of this motion is to get our staff to look at the wider perspective and come up with innovative ideas that can increase housing stock.”

The motion noted that officers’ reports should at a minimum consider how to reduce red tape and costs throughout the planning process for both renovations and new builds; advocate to the State Government for immediate priority funding to repair damage and for the vacant social housing stock in the shire; and if possible, compile a data bank of vacant housing stock throughout the shire.

Cr Chisholm also requested councillors looked at innovative building techniques including container houses, tiny houses and portable housing.

“If we’re going to solve this [housing] problem, all levels of government need to work together to get a result. Hopefully the Mitchell Shire can come up with some innovative ways to do so,” he said.

“I’d like to see container houses really looked at. There’s a whole range of things we can do but probably the biggest thing is in the planning regulations and cutting red tape and getting the system better. That was the idea of the motion.”

Cr Louise Bannister seconded the motion.

“It shouldn’t just be the responsibility of one government. Everyone should be working together because this crisis has passed the critical point and I think we need to be looking to innovation and ways to address it sooner rather than later,” she said.

“I look forward to seeing a report on this and hopefully other possibilities Mitchell Shire can support the state and federal governments, and also not-for-profits in solving what is a terrible housing crisis at the moment.”

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  1. Just worry about the three R’s and leave the housing problems to the professionals in that matter and any small building have to meet the building code any way

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