Monday, January 23, 2012

DA1305 - Affordable Housing

A recurring theme in the responses to the Trust on this issue relates to how the 51 units will be managed after construction.  Will the Uniting Church remain as landlord, or will individual units be sold off?  Either way, what long term legally binding assurance is available to ensure that the affordable housing will always in perpetuity be occupied by "low income care workers working locally"?  Will such people be evicted if they change or lose their jobs? 
Without such an assurance it seems that the Church is being less than open by trying to justify this application as being a charitable act to help the lower paid people of Beecroft.
If the properties remain managed by the Church, what rent will be charged, and will the units be available to these lower paid people because the church is subsidising the rent?  Apparently the church will pay less rates because of their status, so could afford to subsidise the rents, if this development is indeed intended as a charitable church-inspired accommodation block.
Obviously if the units are ever sold off without some caveat about ownership, then neither the church nor local residents will have any control over who buys them.  So anything in the application relating to future ownership is blatant dissembling and obfuscation.  Indeed the regulations stipulate that 20% of the units must be retained as affordable housing for 10 years.  Or to put it the other way, developers can sell off most of the units with impunity.

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