Council has declared a housing emergency in the Tweed, due to what they say is a lack of availability and affordability.
Councillors met on Thursday and agreed to write to both the Federal and State Governments requesting they explore further opportunities for “additional social and affordable housing”.
According to Mayor Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry, a growing number of residents were now finding they could no longer afford to live in the Shire.
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“Council highlighted the lack of affordable and available housing in the Tweed back in 2018. COVID has accentuated this and what we are now seeing is a marked acceleration in this trend caused by people moving from cities and buying properties in the Tweed,” she said.
“Local real estate agents are reporting record sales and the increase we’ve seen in rent is unprecedented.
“Given that we’re also experiencing historically low rental availability, it signifies that there is stress right across the rental market. This translates on the ground to families with two incomes who cannot afford to live in the Tweed.”
Council is also now looking at options for providing temporary accommodation for residents who have been forced to sleep in their vehicles.
“We are looking to identify properties that could provide this type of ‘vanpacker’ accommodation with appropriate facilities as a transition point until permanent housing can be found,” Cr Cherry said.
“This is a whole of community and whole of government issue.
“With rising rough sleeper counts, the situation is getting much worse on a daily basis as the buying boom continues.”