Whittlesea invest in housing for all

Whittlesea council. (Joe Mastroianni) 246677_03

by Michaela Meade

Whittlesea council will develop 35 lots of land in Mernda, reserving three for use as social housing.

At a council meeting this week, council administrators resolved to develop, construct, subdivide and sell property at 17-19 Johnsons Road, Mernda, following the completion of a community engagement process.

In a report on the project, council officers said the land had been purchased from the state government in 2014 with the “strategic intent” of selling the property at a future point in time, for a return to be reinvested into community infrastructure.

As part of this project, three lots will be reserved for sale or lease to a registered social housing organisation.

Acting corporate services director Mark Montague said officers decided on three lots for social housing after consideration of social and affordable housing implications.

According to the report, out of nine submissions from residents, five agreed with three lots being allocated for social housing.

One stated more than three were favourable, while three wanted fewer than three lots.

Council administrator Chris Eddy said the council was taking a sensible and responsible approach to the project.

“[We are] trying to make, as small as it is with this project, a contribution to dealing with those very serious affordable housing issues that we have in the City of Whittlesea,” Mr Eddy said.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the project would be completed in accordance with conditions outlined in a previous report on the development, presented to council in August.

Ms Wilson said the conditions minimised any negative impacts on abutting properties, and ensured “appropriate” residential development, including traffic management, access considerations, alignment of roads, and reserves with the adjoining estate.

A report on the next steps will be put to council in mid-2022.