Grafton’s Avery Brown finds security in the Affordable Housing scheme.
Grafton’s Avery Brown finds security in the Affordable Housing scheme.

Pilot scheme to bring security

THE supply of affordable housing in the Clarence Valley has been given a boost with the recent completion of 14 long-term properties in Grafton.

Designed to benefit the community by offering affordable housing solutions, the pilot program has been embraced by Clarence Valley Council and was developed in partnership with Housing NSW and Community Housing Limited.

Avery Brown, a field worker employed by the Aboriginal Legal Service in Grafton, met the tenancy requirements and recently moved into his new home on Pullen Cls after spending six years living in sub-standard rental accommodation; the best he could afford.

"I do a lot of volunteer work in the community and I see a lot of males left out in the cold when it comes to support services; many men are left to fend for themselves," Mr Brown said.

"At my age it can be difficult to find a job, let alone affordable housing.

"Moving to something like this is a godsend. It makes life so much easier and I feel secure in knowing I can pay rent each week.

Mr Avery said the project had many benefits and he hoped to see more become available.

"For me it's the affordability along with the security of long-term tenancy which alleviates any psychological stress from uncertainty," he said.

Mayor Richie Williamson said 14 new rental homes was a great outcome for local residents to reduce their housing stress.

"Local tradesmen also benefited from this economic boost during the building industry downturn," Mayor Williamson said.

The first stage of 14 dwellings include units, townhouses and houses, from one to three bedrooms and are offered to low to moderate income families at 60-75% of the market rent and have been funded in partnership with the Australian Federal and NSW Governments' Social Housing Growth Fund.

The NSW Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce will officially open the six properties today, one of three sites developed, managed and owned by Community Housing Limited in the Grafton area.

Guests include Mayor Richie Williamson, Clarence Valley councillors, members of Housing NSW and the local residents.



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