It’s often said that once people move to Oatley, they never leave. I’ve found a similar sentiment across all the suburbs in the Blakehurst ward – that once you move into this area, you never leave. However, the concept of staying in the local area your whole life is becoming increasingly difficult. Young people are finding it almost impossible to stay in the area they’ve grown up in due to sky-high housing prices, and are losing a lot of their social supports when they have to move somewhere more affordable.
Likewise, older people are finding it difficult to stay in the area too, with many struggling to find somewhere appropriate in the local area to downsize to. They want good quality villas that allow them to stay close to friends and social supports in the same suburb they’ve lived in for so many years, and the option to move to quality supported aged care when they can no longer live independently.
We need to make sure that we’re providing a variety of housing options to meet the demands of residents of all ages and circumstances so that they can remain in this area. This means providing good quality houses, apartments, and villas so that residents can choose the best accommodation that suits their needs.
This is an area our Council should be working on to find solutions. We need to engage with our community to understand how our planning rules can encourage the right mix of housing options to support ‘whole of life’ housing choices. Young people and the elderly shouldn’t be forced to move from the area they love because there’s no suitable housing available.
If elected to Council, I will be calling for a comprehensive review of our planning rules to examine what can be done to help people remain a part of our wonderful community.