Bega MP Dr Michael Holland says a quick stop gap for the housing crisis could be to emulate an advocacy group's demountable homes.
It is a program run by the Social Justice Advocates (SJA) of the Sapphire Coast, converting demountable school buildings into accommodation.
Dr Holland was speaking the day after he convened a roundtable discussion in Bega on Tuesday, October 4, to find solutions to the housing shortage that is afflicting the Bega electorate which covers the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires.
"For quick wins always look at successful templates," he said.
The demountable homes that SJA has installed in a number of towns in Bega Valley Shire are plumbed, wired and insulated and can be purchased for close to $30,000.
"We need land with appropriate infrastructure - power and sewerage," he said.
The sites should be close to central facilities and services because those in most need of housing often don't have transport.
The roll out "could be assisted by local government cutting red tape for development approvals," Dr Holland said.
"Not all development approvals are the same and they should be triaged in terms of priority."
Governments have solutions
Dr Holland said there is an obligation at all levels of government to look at all manners of housing - public, private, rental and for purchase - and to work with developers, councils and architects to offer a range of housing that is inclusive.
"That creates a blended society and not isolated groups of wealthy and expensive homes versus social and public housing," he said.
Dr Holland said councils are currently restricted by state government regulations.
"They would like some cutting up of red tape and more ability to look at things like zoning and planning."
He also drew attention to the "many state government assets sitting empty which could be developed into social or affordable housing".
The idea the free market will solve this problem is not right. We are experiencing that at the moment.- Dr Michael Holland, Member for Bega
These include the old Bega hospital site and former TAFE site, as well as the Batemans Bay and Moruya hospital sites after the new Regional Eurobodalla Hospital is built.
"These are the assets of the NSW people so should be kept in state hands to provide people with accommodation."
Meanwhile much of the "public housing is in disrepair".
"Because of our climate emergency and energy crisis" that housing must also be made energy efficient when it is being repaired.
Dr Holland said there is innovation occurring in the private sector as investors increasingly understand that for every $1 invested in affordable housing "you get $2 back through people coming into the workforce, being educated and the savings on healthcare".
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