Community Hosting

Matching homeowners with lodgers

Housing Hub

A centre for resources and innovative solutions

Housing Info Service

Housing Professionals advisory service

Precarious Housing & Homelessness

Exploring new models of housing

Community Land Trust

Perpetually affordable housing

Local Housing Fund

Financial help for housing stress

Community Hosting Program

Our “hosts and lodgers” matching project has officially wrapped. The pilot was in partnership with and was an important local and immediate response to the local housing crisis. The initiative matched homeowners living alone, who wanted a lodger and some company, with people in precarious housing situations who wanted to live in a shared situation.

People registered and looked for a suitable match, based on things like age, gender, interests and location. Police checks were mandatory for all participants.

Since the pilot has wrapped we have been contacted by other communities keen to explore similar projects. Please reach out if you’d like a copy of the CHP Pilot Report.  We’re also happy to share the program’s supporting documentation and other resources. Please contact 

Housing Matters Hub

We are establishing the Housing Hub in the Bellingen Sustainability Centre – Church St Lane Bellingen (behind the Ambulance Station). Currently the Hub does the following:

  • Develop and disseminate tools and resources to help residents with natural hazard preparedness, water and energy security, solar passive housing design, landscaping, low cost environmentally responsible building techniques, and updates on progress in implementing the Bellingen Shire Local Housing Strategy 2020-2040, as well as the next stage of the Shire’s Growth Management Strategy which addresses Rural Lands.
  • Facilitate community responses and solutions to the local housing crisis.
  • Bring together socially and environmentally responsible housing professionals to provide advice for local residents undertaking small developments such as building low-cost, well-designed housing, secondary dwellings, subdividing large blocks into two, retrofitting a large house into different living areas etc.
  • Undertake local and regional advocacy and policy development platform which helps government tackle the regional housing crisis.

Housing Info Service

Thinking of building or renovating & want some independent information about what is possible? The Housing Info Service is here to help – read the booklet for more info!

  • Initial free consultation
  • Access to housing professionals
  • Ongoing support if needed

Precarious Housing & Homelessness – incl land hosting & innovative technology

We are working hard to understand the extent and impact of the regional housing crisis on the different groups of people who make up our communities.  We are exploring immediate initiatives such as hosted land sharing and innovative technology responses.

We are also exploring and encouraging new models, such as for purpose private developments like well designed boarding houses for single low income earners; well designed Build to Rent; Rent to Buy and shared ownership options. We are working with not for profits, social enterprises, for purpose developers and entrepreneurs to increase the range of affordable housing options available regionally. 

Our group is also kick starting a regional advocacy campaign. We are keen to work closely with local Members of Parliament to increase government investment in social and affordable housing and government incentives and subsidies for innovative new affordable housing responses.  

Housing Impact Fund

We are exploring the establishing of a local housing fund to provide a means for people to invest in the social and economic viability of the local community.   The fund could provide construction loans for secondary dwellings, invest in long term, affordable rentals and support innovative pilot projects to help address the regional housing crisis.

The fund is a way that people with sufficient means and/or newcomers buying into the region could make an immediate contribution to help mitigate the impact of increased property prices on the local community. People could contribute to the fund at the point of sale, purchase or at any time.

If the Housing Impact Fund takes off, over time it could build sufficient capital to purchase land for the Community Land Trust.

Archived Projects

Local Housing Strategy

The housing system is complex and all tiers of government have an important part to play. State and Commonwealth Governments control many of the levers which drive the housing system. However local government also has an important part in the housing story.

We have been actively supporting Bellingen Shire Council’s development of the twenty year Local Housing Strategy and broader Growth Management Strategy. It is a state government requirement of all local councils to develop these documents. We are proud that Bellingen Shire Council has been recognised for their outstanding work in relation to the Local Housing Strategy winning both the Community Partnerships and Collaboration Category of the NSW Local Government Awards 2019 and the Rural Category of the 2020 Local Government NSW A.R. Bluett Memorial Awards.

Bellingen Shire Council launched their discussion paper ‘Homes for our Future’ at our first housing forum in 2018. Following the forum, a working group was formed to support the community consultation process, host workshops in Dorrigo, Bellingen and Urunga and inform themselves of the details of the proposed strategy. The most common themes from the consultation included the need for more housing choice and greater housing affordability (over 30% of comments); protection of the natural environment (18% of comments) and protecting character and supporting community connections (15%) of comments.

The Local Housing Strategy will be a very important document that will guide and shape the growth of our community over the next 20 years. The Local Housing Strategy 2020-2040 and supporting Action Plan outline a wide range of initiatives, including quality infill development, environmentally responsible development, a number of innovative pilot projects and the potential of a Housing Hub to assist with the implementation and uptake of initiatives. We are pleased to work closely Bellingen Shire Council to continue to find local solutions to the current housing crisis.

The next step in Bellingen Shire Council’s Growth Management Strategy is to focus on rural lands and we look forward to seeing where we might be useful in that work.

Read the HMAG submission

Local Housing Strategy 2020-2040
We are primarily volunteers!
Please allow 48 hours for a reply

Housing Matters Action Group Incorporated
ABN: 849 860 347 54

Jagun yaam Gumbaynggirrgundi. We acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and pay our respects to all Elders and First Peoples past, present and emerging.
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