Call for strategy to 'focus on housing people'
The Local Housing Strategy should focus on housing people rather than on building houses, the Peninsula Residents' Association has told Central Coast Council.
The council should do a study of the current needs of people on the Peninsula and address those before it seeks to increase the Peninsula's population.
"What is missing is consideration for the lives and well-being of the current members of our community," said the association in its submission about the draft Strategy.
"Indeed, current residents are specifically excluded from the No. 1 aim of the Strategy: 'Set out a strategy for meeting the housing needs of the future population.'
"There are no recommendations or discussion of what is valued in our community and how, in practical terms, it will be protected and enhanced.
"Our community includes people who are living below the poverty line (17 per cent of the Peninsula's population) and a greater number paying more than 30 per cent of their income for housing.
"These people are not interested in making money.
"They are just wanting somewhere pleasant to live that they can afford.
"This is achievable on the Peninsula, if the council is willing to put in the necessary effort."
As well as research "on the ground at a personal level", the association said the Strategy should include an assessment of "the effectiveness of the current housing strategy, the Peninsula Urban Directions Strategy".
"This should include a review of its implementation through the (planning) provisions of the Development Control Plan (DCP), and their effectiveness in implementing the strategy as changes have been made to the DCP."
The association opposed plans for higher density rezoning to allow residential flats on the Peninsula.
"Clusters of multi-storey residential flats do not have the character or provide the kind of housing that the Peninsula community wants or needs," the association said.
"The Residents' Association believes that a more effective housing strategy could be implemented through changes to the DCP, without requiring rezoning or other changes to the LEP."
In other recommendations, the association said: "An open space policy and strategy should be prepared, exhibited and adopted that formalises minimum requirements and targets for both public and private open space.
"Along with this, heat island provisions should be formulated to align with the Greater Cities Commission tree canopy target of 40 per cent, and to require conformity with a minimum solar reflectance index in areas where the tree canopy target is not met."
The association quoted the State Government's Local Housing Strategy Guideline which stated a housing strategy should "describe the community's priorities and aspirations for housing over the next 20 years".
The association's submission said: "The draft Strategy currently does not contain the Peninsula community's priorities and aspirations for housing over the next 20 years."
Media release, 13 May 2023
Jen Wilder, Peninsula Residents' Association