Affordable housing for the elderly is a major issue in the Clarence Valley.
Affordable housing for the elderly is a major issue in the Clarence Valley. Bill North

Affordable housing a hotbed issue for Clarence

RESIDENTS of the Clarence Valley, it's time to speak up. It's time to be listened to. It's time to be heard.

NSW politicians have been out in force giving the Coalition a presence in the Clarence Valley all this week.

Since Saturday the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell and Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey have all popped in to exchange pleasantries with their esteemed colleague, the local Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis.

Now it's Deputy Premier John Barilaro's turn. He has Regional Development, Small Business and Skills in his portfolio, and showed earlier this year with the plight of the 23 unpaid Wave 5 subcontractors that he is prepared to listen and get results.

Tomorrow at 9am he is meeting with community members at Iluka Bowling Club to hear their pleas for an ambulance station. Judging on his track record in our region, the residents have reason to be hopeful his appearance is more than smoke and mirrors.

With a State election around the corner, if ever there was a chance to plead your case for action in this region, this has been it. We're being sussed out. They want to know what will win them the next election.

Perhaps the one hotbed issue facing this electorate is affordable housing, in particular for the elderly.

Multiple infrastructure developments have brought people to town, which is great for the economy. But it has seen rising rental costs and low income earners being squeezed out of their homes.

In the coming weeks we will highlight how severe it has become and why the result of Clarence could hinge on this issue.