Low-cost housing in Lismore is set for a significant boost following a proposed development winning support from the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
Leading not-for-profit Christian care provider Baptist Community Services – NSW & ACT (BCS) has welcomed the announcement that its proposed $5million Lismore community housing project has won NRAS support, which provides financial incentives to organisations building affordable housing, aimed at people on low incomes.
BCS will soon lodge a development application with Lismore City Council for the project, which will provide much needed low-cost rental accommodation for seniors and people living with disabilities, who are facing the challenge of finding and affording a rental home.
The project is a positive example of BCS’ commitment to meeting unmet needs in the local community, particularly among those living with disadvantage.
Under the plan, BCS is proposing to develop land on the corner of Dibbs and Dalziel Streets, Lismore, building 26 new one and two-bedroom units. The development will incorporate both age friendly design features to ensure accessibility for all and environmental sustainability design features to reduce living costs for residents and our impact on the environment.
BCS Strategic Development and Sustainability General Manager Mr Mike Furner said he was delighted that the project had received NRAS support.
“NRAS provides the opportunity for the Federal and State Government and the not-for-profit sector to work together to increase the supply of affordable private rental housing,” Mr Furner said.
The scheme provides a financial incentive per dwelling on an annual basis for up to ten years, so that housing can be offered for rent below market rates for low income earners.
The Rudd Government has announced that it will deliver 6741 new affordable rental homes across the country under the NRAS second round of funding.
Mr Furner said NRAS support enabled projects like the Lismore one to proceed and provided the opportunity for people with unmet needs to move into quality, affordable accommodation, where they can live with dignity, access relevant support and achieve a better quality of life.
“The local council has identified the aged and people living with disabilities as two groups that have significant unmet housing needs in the area and we intend to integrate the new housing with other relevant service providers and agencies in Lismore.”
“We are excited that the project will boost low-cost housing stock in the area, as well as reinforcing BCS’ long term commitment to the provision of affordable housing for the community.
“BCS has a long history of providing people living with disadvantage with quality supported accommodation and relevant, practical services and we are looking forward to expanding our care in the Northern Rivers area.”
This new project would provide direct economic benefits to the local community, including increased demand for goods and services which in turn provide increased local employment opportunities.
Pending appropriate approvals, BCS hopes to commence work on the site in the new year, with residents expected to move in by December 2010.
BCS already operates a range of care services for the aged and people living with disabilities in the Northern Rivers areas, including the BCS Maranoa aged care centres in Alstonville and Lismore, BCS Maranoa retirement village in Alstonville and a range of in-home and respite care services through the BCS Care Centre – Northern Rivers.