Wyndham City Council is investigating the possibility of repurposing land to provide crisis accommodation for families as the city faces a severe housing shortage.
The decision comes as a recent report predicts a shortfall of over 11,700 homes by 2036. Between 2017 and 2021, family violence increased by 43.1% in Wyndham, nearly double that of Victoria in the same period.
The report also found that one and two bedroom homes make up just 8% of the housing market, while social housing takes up only 1.1%. Wyndham has a population of over 300,000, and this number is expected to exceed half a million by 2040.
With the community expecting the council to take action, Cr. Robert Szatkowski stated that the council should investigate the potential to use Council owned and managed land, property and air space rights to support crisis accommodation and social and affordable housing stock in Wyndham.
Cr. Szatkowski emphasized the importance of this issue, stating that “many Wyndham households are under the pump, and if we as Council can help at all, then we have a responsibility to do so.”
He also urged his fellow councilors to support the motion, saying, “We can make a difference to a person’s life, that’s the reason I’m here. A raised hand in favour of this motion will demonstrate that’s why you’re here too.”
However, Cr. Shaw spoke against the motion, stating that she would not be “emotionally blackmailed into supporting something…” and that it is not the council’s role, but rather the State and Federal Governments.
Despite the debate, it is clear that Wyndham’s housing crisis is a pressing issue that requires urgent attention. The council’s decision to investigate repurposing land for crisis accommodation is a positive step towards addressing this issue and providing much-needed support for families in need.