CONCERNS: Cr Joe Jurisevic.
CONCERNS: Cr Joe Jurisevic. Contributed

Workers need cheap stays

ONE of Noosa's biggest challenges in the years ahead is finding affordable smaller housing for low income "key workers”.

Think hospitality workers like baristas, kitchen and bar staff.

That is one of the major findings of Noosa Council's housing needs assessment report prepared by consultant Briggs and Mortar.

The draft SEQ Plan wants Noosa to provide an additional 5900 dwellings between 2011 and 2031 with the majority seen as construction infill.

A lack of housing diversity and low levels of social and emergency housing as well as a conflict between resident and visitor accommodation are other deficits identified in the report.

The population of Noosa is expected to grow by 9500 from 2015 to 2041 to 63,000 and the median age in Noosa as of two years ago was 47.2 years - up from 42.7 years a decade before. Noosa had a high proportion of fully owned homes at 36% with 32% being paid off and 28.5% rented. The 2011 Census showed there were 18,922 Noosa households and 23.6% were sole occupants.

However senior council town planner Raul Weychardt told the councillors there were 6000 unoccupied dwellings in Noosa on that 2011 Census night.

Mayor Tony Wellington, just back from overseas on annual leave, said it showed Noosa folk were "a well-travelled bunch”.

Cr Joe Jurisevic said that this absenteeism was significant to note for the new Noosa planning scheme and asked if it was known how many homes were regularly unoccupied.

"Not really,” Mr Weychardt said, "but Australia-wide the trend is about 10%, which is a huge number of empty dwellings about the place.”

"I think we'd be higher than that.”

Cr Ingrid Jackson said the Briggs and Mortar report is "exceptionally well researched”.


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