The region’s ageing population, in particular vulnerable older women, are set to benefit from a $75M investment by Housing Plus.
Housing Plus, a local, regionally based community housing provider, is delivering 220 new social and affordable homes across Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst in the next three years, with the first properties becoming available in October 2019.
There is already an acute shortage of affordable and social housing across the region. These new homes will come at a critical time when property prices are rising, and many are turning to renting. Currently, 1 in 3 Australians rent their home. Growth in the economy through mining developments, large infrastructure projects and the loss of rental properties to the tourism sector, puts pressure on an already limited supply of rental properties with rents rising.
David Fisher, CEO at Housing Plus, says, “We are delighted to be delivering one of the largest social and affordable housing programs the Central West region has seen for many years. This is a significant investment by Housing Plus in these cities and shows the commitment we have to supporting the local community and growth in the economy, as well as creating jobs in construction and services in the short term.”
Recent research by UNSW has estimated that some 5,500 new properties are needed across the Central West to meet the expected growth in population. The 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot by Anglicare Australia reports that less than 5% of available houses are affordable and appropriate for a couple with no children receiving the age pension. Only 1% of properties are affordable for a single person on an aged pension.
As the baby-boomer generation reach their senior years, the waiting list for affordable and social housing is increasing and few current homes in the Central West are properly equipped to assist the increasing number of community members in need, according to Housing Plus CEO David Fisher.
Housing Plus has a 30-year history of providing customer-centred tenancy and property management services to the Central West and Western regions of NSW and has locally based teams in these three regional cities.
The properties are architecturally designed to meet the Livable Housing Design Guidelines, local planning guidelines, and will be energy efficient through the incorporation of draught proofing, solar panels and split systems, which reduce the running costs for these homes.