An aerial view of the Byron solar train on its way between Byron Bay and Sunrise.
An aerial view of the Byron solar train on its way between Byron Bay and Sunrise.

Who is to blame for Northern Rivers housing shortage?

Was it Paul Hogan, the more recent Hemsworth effect, or a refusal to allow new housing to be developed that's caused a housing problem for Byron?

It's more likely Byron's dire housing situation has been the result of layers of complex factors, not excluding the spike in cashed-up pandemic sea-changers.

Byron Shire Council resolved on Thursday to take more action on the housing crisis, including inviting the housing and planning ministers to visit the region to help to tackle the problem.

 

>> The 'brutally unfair' hurdles facing buyers, renters

>> The 'wicked, critical' problem emerging in the Kyogle area

>> HOUSING CRISIS: What's causing it and can we fix it?

>> How skyrocketing house prices are killing our towns

 

 

Byron councillor Alan Hunter
Byron councillor Alan Hunter

 

Meanwhile Byron shire councillor Alan Hunter suggested the council was partly to blame.

"I think we've got a problem that we haven't recognised; we haven't got enough houses," Cr Hunter said.

"And we're not making it easier to get more.

"West Byron is a good example.

"We have to, as a council, recognise that we don't have enough supply.

"We need to work out what the balance should be then we're starting to do our job properly, but at the moment we're difficult to do business with."

Cr Sarah Ndiaye challenged her colleague's comments, saying she heard this line "way too often".

 

Byron Shire councillor Sarah Ndiaye.
Byron Shire councillor Sarah Ndiaye.

 

She said the council had "over-delivered" on rates of new housing approvals "set by the Department of Housing".

Despite this, the a housing shortfall of about 3000 homes had been identified in the shire, where "close to 4000 properties" are "available all year long" as holiday rentals, Cr Ndiaye said.

 

>> Byron Bay's holiday letting rules face red tape delays

>> Holiday rental site slams council's hopes for local rules

 

 

Byron councillors unanimously voted for a suite of actions to try to tackle the housing crisis.
Byron councillors unanimously voted for a suite of actions to try to tackle the housing crisis.

 

"We have a right to say no to bad development and I do my best to say yes to good development," she said.

"We are doing everything we can to address it, but these figures do not reflect on us.

"They reflect on a state government that has not been paying attention."

Byron Shire Council has been trying to implement a 90-day cap on unhosted holiday letting but the proposed rules have not yet been endorsed by the State Government.



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