CENTACARE Ballarat has weighed into the controversy over a 52-unit National Rental Affordability Scheme development in Golden Point.
Centacare executive director David Beaver said yesterday affordable housing, such as the Hickman Street one- and two-bedroom units, was essential in Ballarat.
“Affordable housing for people on low to middle incomes meets one of the most basic needs to give struggling families a foot up,” Mr Beaver said.
Centacare is one of the main housing and homelessness support program providers in Ballarat.
Mr Beaver said housing gave low income earners a chance to find employment, get their children to school, participate in society and share in a basic right.
“Programs to provide affordable housing, like the government’s NRAS scheme, encourage significant investment in new affordable housing.
“NRAS was designed to address the housing shortage throughout Australia, as a federal government initiative. An additional benefit is that it creates further employment opportunities in the local community.
“But NRAS offers other benefits. It is not social housing.
“In fact, some individuals and families with incomes from $45,000 up to $100,000 can rent housing produced with NRAS funding.”
Mr Beaver said the scheme would provide housing to about 1.5 million people across Australia.
“The provision of additional affordable housing helps to ease the strain on other housing in the rental market, particularly useful in Ballarat where there is very low rental housing availability and high demand.”
Mr Beaver said Centacare would also soon be providing NRAS housing in Ballarat.
The Hickman Street development, to be built by not-for-profit housing group Ethan Property Group, has been condemned by local residents as an overdevelopment of the street, with high density living also causing health, traffic and social issues.