Forum to investigate future options and challenges for sustainable and affordable housing in Noosa
Every one knows Noosa has a population cap, lots of good conservation achievements and great natural beauty but does our housing meet the same high standards of sustainability? Well not according to the recent Affordable Living discussion paper released by Council. According to the paper the Sunshine Coast has:
- one of the highest levels of housing stress in the state with 1 in 3 households having to pay more for their housing than economists consider affordable.
- 3 out of every 5 houses are too large for the families that live in them
- 40% less social housing than the State average to meet the needs for low income and disadvantaged families;
- between 50-70% of homes are using more power than they did 10 years ago; and
- housing prices which are driving our young people away and not suited to our aging demographic..
These are just some of the issues to be dealt with in the upcoming housing forum. All interested and impacted community members and organisations are invited to the forum to jointly investigate the future options and challenges for sustainable and affordable housing in Noosa on Thursday 22nd April at the Noosa Heads Bowls Club at 2:00pm.
Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has complimented the NRRA for organizing the forum and believes "affordable and sustainable housing is an integral part of a sustainable community -- a community where people want to live and work now, as well as in the future."
Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association (NRRA) have put together and impressive panel of experts from the chair of the Sunshine Coast Housing Affordability Taskforce, Cr Anna Gross Grosskreutz, to Lorraine Back from United Synergies. United Synergies is a Noosa organisation that provides a range of affordable, accessible accommodation and placement options for young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.
Brian Stockwell President of the NRRA stated "Its not just the cost of housing which is the problem, with increasing concern about the impact of our energy use and carbon footprint the design of houses currently being built is also under question."
The council discussion paper concludes that "the typical current housing stock in terms of size, layout, design, footprint, orientation, energy demand, reliance on air-conditioning and private vehicles is unpractical, unaffordable and unsustainable."
Panel member and owner of Future World Design , Mark Buczynski is an architect with 20 years experience in 14 countries, who has developed a building system that allows a house to be self sufficient in power and water and have a six star plus rating, all for the cost of an average house. Together with Debbie Johnson from Building Suncoast Green who has over twenty years experience in the building and was also the President of the Sunshine Coast HIA, Mark will stimulate forum discussion on the potential solutions to the challenges facing us.
The number of people aged over 65 on the coast is projected to double in the next 15 years and designing housing mix and choices for the aged is an important component of the challenge. Gary Stevens whose background in residential and community based care services with: Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Council on the Ageing (NT), Respite Care ACT, Blue Care and adds considerable experience to his current life stage where he himself is and Aged Care Seeker will champion these issues at the forum.
The Panel will be rounded off with Chair of Social Board, of Noosa Biosphere Ltd, Bettina Walter. Bettina studied Design and Media in London. Bettina's team was one of the winners of the 'A Car-free London' competition by the Architecture Foundation in 1998. "I am passionate about sustainable architecture, social well being and our Noosa Biosphere." Bettina Stated.
This is the first in a series of forums to be run by the NRRA in 2010 which will look at developing preferred future scenarios for Noosa, as a basis for their active lobbying of Government and Council in the interests of all residents and ratepayers of the Noosa district.
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