Colac Otway Shire Council is set to start the search for a land developer interested in buying council-owned land near Lake Colac, to create a residential estate with a mix of housing opportunities.
Colac Otway Mayor Cr Kate Hanson said addressing the significant housing shortage faced in the shire was a priority and selling the Council land at 36-52 Bruce Street for development was an important step.
“We urgently need housing for workers so our employers can fill job vacancies and reach their potential; we need a variety of new housing for families, singles, retirees and a growing population; and we need social housing for our most vulnerable residents,” Cr Hanson said.
“There has been extensive work to prepare the Bruce Street land for sale and through an Expression of Interest process, we will be looking for a buyer who will develop the land, and create approximately 60 to 70 house blocks with a component of social housing.
“Our aim is to have the sale finalised by the end of the year and these blocks can be available as soon as possible,” she said.
“Council sees the Bruce Street land sale as a significant way for Council to actively address housing and worker shortages, while achieving a cash return from the site which will also benefit the community.”
Colac Otway Shire Council resolved at its May meeting last night to undertake an EOI process for the land sale that invites offers from developers and Community Housing Trusts that would result in approximately 15% of the land set aside for Build to Rent social housing.
Build to Rent involves a Community Housing Trust building and managing houses for long-term rental, with the rent capped at a maximum proportion of an eligible person’s income. This would address the significant market need for low-cost rental housing.
The Expression of Interest process will encourage other innovative forms of affordable housing to be provided in excess of the minimum social housing requirement, aimed at meeting the needs of key and essential workers in Colac, provided an acceptable financial return from the site is realised.
Colac Otway Shire Council considered the option of developing and subdividing the land itself however it believes selling the land as a whole to a suitable developer will achieve the best result.
Colac Otway Shire Council will advertise its intention to sell the land, as required by the Local Government Acts, before the EoI process starts, and further information about the process, which will be overseen by a Probity Advisor, is available at www.colacotway.vic.gov.au There will be opportunities for the community to comment via submissions following the advertising of the intention to sell and during the planning process.
Source: Colac Otway Shire media release