Will plan to ease Valley rent crisis work?
AGED care provider Clarence Village believes its proposal to build 22 rental units for the aged in South Grafton could ease the affordable housing crisis in the region.
The CEO of Clarence Village, Duncan McKimm, said the proposal, for which Clarence Village has plans, a location and $1million to put towards building, would allow elderly people to move into suitable accommodation while freeing up their houses for families moving to the region.
"All we need to get moving on this is the finance," Mr McKimm said.
He said aged care regulations made government funding for the proposal almost the only option.
"Because the law says you can't charge to provide aged care we can only make money from entry contributions, philanthropy and government funding," he said.
"It's not a proposal investors would like, because not many people would put in $5million and wait 30 years to get their money back."
But he said governments had shown a preference for massive developments of hundreds of units.
Mr McKimm said despite this, he hoped the imminent elections could provoke governments to do something to help the community.
"There is an affordable rental crisis in South Grafton," he said. "The fortnightly rental for a two-bedroom unit has risen by $60 since 2016-17.
"Figures in the council's website show a median rental for that unit would take 55 per cent of the pension and there's a 40 per cent increase of rental households in rental stress."
Mr McKimm said it was time the State Government acted on the acute social housing issues in the value.
"Clarence Village and the Department of Housing in a joint venture, built five independent living units in Turf St, Grafton in 1996," he said.
"They're still operational and have 100 per cent occupancy. I believe they're also the last social housing built in Grafton."