One of the most common issues raised with me through my community surveys and at street meetings is concerns over cost of living rises – particularly for housing. Many local families are worried that their children simply won’t be able to afford to live in the area and may never be able to buy their own home. As a mum, I completely understand this concern. I want my kids to have the ability to stay in this beautiful part of Sydney, but am concerned that given current housing prices, this may not be possible.
The gap between house prices and incomes for average Australians has never been higher and we need to look at all the options to help working families get their foot on the homeownership ladder and remain in the local area. A good community needs teachers, nurses and other essential workers to provide the services we expect. And if we want these key workers to stay in the area, Council needs to do what it can to assist.
We know that developers are making big profits from knocking down older affordable homes and putting up expensive new apartments in city centres like Kogarah and Hurstville. One solution to help local families might be to find a way to make these developers contribute to housing which is affordable for average income households. There are models around that make this possible and I believe Georges River Council should explore these models to see what works here.
Our Council needs to take this issue seriously if we want to be part of the solution that helps hard-working local families remain in our area. If I am elected to Council, I will work to make sure we consider all the innovative options that can help make the dream of home-ownership more achievable.