The hills are alive ...

THERE was good news blowin' from them thar hills yesterday, particularly for people trying to get into their own home.

Member for Page Janelle Saffin took a drive out to Junction Hill to announce Federal Government funding of more than $880,000 to help reduce the cost of building a house there.

The funding will mean that 33 blocks of land in Bailey's Estate Junction Hill will each be reduced by about $10,000; with the remainder of the funding being used to subsidise infrastructure at the estate.

“Earlier this year, (Clarence Valley) Council was on the shortlist for the Housing Affordability Fund and I'm pleased to see the funding has gone through,” Ms Saffin said.

“The funding will also be used for planning reforms to cut red tape and fast-track development applications, which will have ongoing benefits for housing affordability.

“In my view, Clarence Valley Council has done a very good job on affordable housing.”

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager (environmental and economic) Des Schroder said in addition to reducing block prices at Bailey's Estate by $10,000 each, $100,000 of the Federal Government grant would be spent on consultant fees to advance the affordable housing strategy and develop planning solutions.

He said the remainder would be spent on funds for a dedicated affordable housing officer to coordinate all the projects.

Development of the 33 sites should begin soon after July and could be for sale by the end of this year.

Mr Schroeder said council's affordable housing strategy was targeted at low to moderate income earners and retirees.

He said another two blocks in the Martin Crescent estate would be donated for the use of low-cost rental accommodation.

The two blocks will be donated to Community Housing Ltd and probably developed into duplexes. The homes will then be rented out for about 20 per cent below market rental cost.

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