In the face of an increasing shortage of affordable housing in this region, a group of local people and organisations have come together to form the Bellingen and Nambucca Affordable Housing Action Group.
The group will host the upcoming Affordable Housing Local Solutions Forum on May 3-4 at the Uniting Church, Bellingen.
The forum aims to open up constructive discussion with the community, share possible solutions and initiate ongoing projects. The forum will bring together stakeholders from the private industry, academics and experts, local and state government, community members and housing providers to look at local housing issues.
“The people we’re inviting along to the forum include land and property owners, real estate agents, community members looking to invest in something that will benefit their community, homeowners who may be looking to downsize, community members who may be interested in contributing to a housing cooperative and others with a genuine interest in finding solutions to the housing crisis,” forum organiser Emma Belcher said.
“We know that the shortage of affordable housing across the country is an entrenched problem and it’s an increasingly acute issue in the Bellingen and Nambucca shires. This is a solutions-focused forum for people from Bellingen and Nambucca who are interested in learning about different approaches to affordable housing.
“We hope that some people who attend will form new projects to create more affordable housing.”
While the forum acknowledges the complexity of the issues and impacts of housing unaffordability, the focus will be on what can be done locally and regionally to develop medium to longer term solutions.
The forum will be an opportunity to share knowledge and benefit from practical experience, case studies and expert presentations from leading national and local organisations.
Fellow organiser Rose West said: “It will be an incredible opportunity to consider what is available in our area, what has worked in other parts of Australia and the funding models that could be effective in our area.
“The forum will create a space in which we can learn what can be done differently to improve the availability and supply of housing in our region.”
Organisers believe that the forum will emphasis the strengths that define the two shires, such as the pristine environments and the strong and inclusive communities.
To register for the forum or for more information go to www.bnc.org.au