Housing Hope for Needy

AFFORDABLE rental properties are being built in Fairfield as part of a national scheme that will offer new accommodation for low- and middle-income families.

The 58 properties, now under construction in Polding Street, are to be built and managed by an association between Churches Community Housing and the Assyrian Church of the East that shares the site.

Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said the Assyrian church had already started construction of the homes before they found out about the Federal Government scheme.

“The Churches Community Housing informed us of the scheme and as we were one of the first to apply, we were also one of the first to be approved,” he said.

Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said that due to the shortage of affordable accommodation in the area, there is already a waiting list of more than 120 people.

“The people on the waiting list are mainly elderly residents that can not to afford to rent privately anymore because they are on the age pension,” he said.

“As long as they meet all the eligibility requirements, they will be the first to be housed in the properties.”

Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said the Polding Street properties were expected to be completed in November this year and the church had already started the ball rolling for more affordable properties under the scheme in Fairfield and Greenfield Park.

“We are hoping to eventually build and manage about 300 affordable rental properties in the area,” he said.

Assistant Treasurer and Prospect MP Chris Bowen said the new affordable homes will have an enormous effect in Fairfield.

“In the past Australian households would have rented as a stepping stone to buying their own home, but they are now finding it much tougher to do that.

“This policy will ensure that affordable rental accommodation exists for residents in Fairfield,” he said.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme aims to improve affordability in the private rental sector by requiring that the rent charged be at least 20percent below the market rate.

Details: www.fahcsia.gov.au/housing or 1800 334 505.

By Stacey Vanoska

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