The recent competition of a $5.5 million residential project by Housing Plus has brought housing within the reach of more Mudgee residents.
The regional social housing provider recently completed the investment in Mudgee constructing 10 two-bedroom and ten one-bedroom units in George Street.
And demand has been strong for the premises, with 19 snapped up in the first weeks since their completion.
Housing Plus CEO Karen Andrew said the units have been built with the support of both state and federal government funding and would be a welcome addition to the rental market in Mudgee.
“These units are National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) funded properties,” she said.
“There was an upfront State funding allocation of $543,270 and a Federal contribution of $163,023 per year for 10 years, while the remaining $3.3 million funded by Housing Plus.
“The Central West is currently experiencing an acute rental affordability crisis.
“Affordable Housing projects like the units we have built, are targeted at the people in our community who are essential to our way of life but who usually do not earn a high income – often known as ‘key workers’.
“This includes people such as trainee nurses, teachers, police officers and other minimum wage workers in supermarkets and hospitality.”
Ms Andrew noted one government indicator suggested housing was affordable when a household does not have to spend more than 30 per cent of its income to meet their housing costs.
“On that indicator many ‘key workers’ struggle to find affordable housing,” she said. “This crisis is linked to the local resources boom which has produced a sudden influx of high income earners in the community.”
She added population projections suggest this situation may continue for some time, so government at all levels was working toward solutions that would maintain balance in the community.
“In the meantime, the real estate market in the Central West is under pressure but particularly the availability and affordability of rental accommodation,” she said.
“Affordable housing projects like this Mudgee initiative and others we are currently building in Bathurst and Orange are hopefully easing that pressure slightly.”