The Ballina Shire has long been popular with tourists, young families, and retirees, but in 2020 an overnight tsunami of pandemic “sea changers” keen to make their favourite holiday destination their hometown sent house prices skyrocketing and rental availability plummeting. More recently, steadily rising interest rates have caused pain for owner-occupiers and renters in a context where rental availability regularly sits at less than 1%.
We don't even have enough housing for locals, let alone the working holiday makers that local businesses rely on.
Understanding the dimensions of the housing crisis depends largely on who you talk to. Developers say we dont have enough housing and need to focus on "increasing supply". The ABS tells us that 7% of houses Shire wide (10% in Lennox Head) are empty on Census night. Councils says they have rezoned enough land to meet supply needs for the next 20-30 years. Meanwhile, planning regulations have incentivised detached 3 or 4 bedroom dwellings, leaving us without the diverse mix of housing options our community desperately needs. Secondary dwellings often end up on the lucrative short term holiday market instead of providing affordable housing options for workers and young people.
The dimensions of the housing crisis are painfully complex and while leaders debate solutions our community and businesses suffer.
Can a business representative, a planner, a tiny homes retailer and a philanthropist solve it? Probably not, but they might have some ideas.
Join me for the second Critical Conversations Seminar on the topic of affordable workforce housing.
We'll also be screening a 30 minute short film called "Room and Board" made by locals in Lake Tahoe, California (you can view the trailer here)
- Jane Laverty, Regional Director, Northern Rivers - Business NSW
- Peter Wigley, Australian Tiny Homes Association/owner of Tiny Homes Australia
- Sam Henderson, CEO, Northern Rivers Community Foundation
- Steve Connelly, Partner, Planners North
6.00pm - Doors open
6.15pm - Opening Remarks, Tamara Smith MP, State Member for Ballina (TBC)
6.30pm - Screening of "Room and Board" Housing Crisis Documentary (Lake Tahoe, USA)
7.00pm - Panel Discussion Facilitated by Councillor Kiri Dicker
7.45pm - Q&A
8.30pm - Event Concludes
Do you like this page?