Let's talk about housing affordability

During last year's ‘Your Community, Your Vision’ engagement activities, housing affordability was confirmed as an important issue to the community.

In response we appointed our first Housing Officer and began exploring options to address this complex and ongoing state-wide issue.

Housing affordability is a big and ongoing conversation that must involve both Council and the community.

We come to you now with our initial ideas to start the conversation.

What can you do?

We know you are also keen to help.

We've done some research on how housing affordability is being tackled across the state and country and suggest the following community contribution ideas.

We are keen to hear your thoughts, so please check out each idea below and then complete the online survey to let us know if any of them might work for you.

We are doing this work to gauge how interested and able our community is in contributing to making housing more affordable across the Mount Alexander shire.

Community contribution ideas

HomeShare

HomeShare through the My Home Network

HomeShare is an internationally recognised scheme that formally pairs “householders,” who may benefit from help in the home and companionship, with "homesharers," who can provide practical assistance in return for free accommodation. It is based on principles of fostering independence, mutual benefit and reciprocity.

The My Home Network are keen to set up the first rural HomeShare model in Australia.

If you want to learn more about what is involved in being a householder or homesharer, contact Carolyn Neilson at Bendigo Health or visit the My Home Network website.

Immediate help

Support for people in housing crisis

If you need assistance to complete a priority application for housing, please visit the Castlemaine Housing Service at Spencely House, Castlemaine Health, or phone 5479 1000.

If you need affordable housing but may not be in acute housing crisis we encourage you to add your name to the Victorian Housing Register (VHR).

The VHR is how the State Government determines housing requirements in our local community. By adding your name to the register, we can help build a case for more affordable housing in the region.

What can Council do?

We are committed to addressing the housing affordability challenge in our community.

Actions we're taking include:
  • pursuing options for funding and access to land on many fronts
  • advocating for the housing needs of the shire
  • investigating use of Council land to deliver affordable housing.

The details of these strategies are embedded in our Council Plan 2021-2025. Some actions are large-scale, longer-term activities that will take time to come to fruition.

Shorter-term options including air-rights on Templeton Street

We continue to consider shorter-term state and federal funding opportunities.

Templeton Street air rights consultation

In July this year over 1,200 people visited this Shape page to learn more about a planning arrangement called 'air Rights'. Over 135 people left submissions and we thank you for your input. We are collating feedback and preparing to brief Council which will happen in September or October. After that we will report back to you on the outcome.

The air rights opportunity in question would:

  • allow for development of medium density rental housing in a central and flat location within walking distance to retail and services
  • provide over 42 new apartment homes at a total cost of around $25m
  • be located at 65 Templeton Street (above Bendigo TAFE) and at 30A Templeton Street (above the Council car park next to Castlemaine Community House)
  • retain the current Bendigo TAFE and car park uses while also providing apartment homes above.

What you have told us