"It's certainly a step forward but there's still a long way to go."
As their $3 million redevelopment of four Mudgee housing apartments inches towards completion, Housing Plus have their eyes set on converting additional lots locally.
In a presentation to the Mid-Western Regional Council on April 20, Housing Plus flagged 27 lots of land that could be redeveloped.
"We recognise at Housing Plus there are more sites in Mid-Western that could actually be redeveloped, probably around 27," Housing Plus chair, Brad Cam said.
"They're either old houses on large blocks that could actually be converted into two two-bedroom affordable apartments, or if the blocks are big enough, even three or four two-bedroom apartments."
With a "we need to do more" mentality, Housing Plus are in discussions with the NSW Government for opportunities to redevelop the identified sites.
We understand there's a real need for affordable housing.- Housing Plus chair, Brad Cam
"This is a small step but we're certainly discussing with the state government more opportunities to redevelop sites.
"We certainly want a partnership with Council to help with the redevelopment too, but Housing Plus would be looking for funding. We also have the capability of borrowing our own money as well.
"Perhaps if development charges were waived and Housing Plus got funding, we would be able to actually undertake the project and reduce demand on the housing market."
Barnardos Mudgee program manager, Mark Hoare said while the potential redevelopment wouldn't directly be of benefit to the region's homeless, it would provide assistance to many others in need.
"To have property in the Mudgee area with the potential to be redeveloped is definitely a good start in the right direction," Mr Hoare said.
"It won't necessarily directly affect our homeless clients, we're still going to have a high risk of homelessness which can change from day to day."
With unit blocks or high density housing prone to "social problems and issues", Mr Hoare said green spaces and separate entrances would be ideal at the potential sites - "I think that would be the way to go".
The redevelopment of the four existing housing blocks on Winbourne Street, which was made possible by state government funding last December, is expected to be completed by February 2023.
Once complete, there will be eight two-bedroom apartments.
"We're knocking down those one-bedroom apartments that are in very poor condition and have been boarded up for a long time," Mr Cam said.
"This redevelopment will allow for eight more families or individuals to be housed in affordable housing, taking some pressure off the rental market."
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