Minutes of Meeting 4 April 2011

Affordable Sustainable Housing Meeting Minutes
Monday 4th April 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Meeting held at Byron Community Centre theatre

Moderator: Gabi Bohnet

Gabi Bohnet (architect and town planner) presented the concept of Affordable Housing linked to Sustainable Housing, and the importance of involving the future occupants in the planning process.

Housing would be structured for sustainability (solar passive design, renewable energy for zero consumption or even plus energy by producing more than is used) localisation incorporating community gardens and transport. Housing models could include shared kitchen, bathroom, laundry, tool/workshop facilities. Economic sustainability could be cafes restaurants, op-shops, etc.

2. Models from around the world

  • German Trust Syndicate (see https://www.transitionbyronshire.org/sustainable-and-affordable-housing/living-space-for-everybody/) has 33 housing projects of various types. Set up as a Limited Liability company with 2 representatives (one from the project and one from the syndicate) so that a housing project can never be sold on the speculative market.Rent continues to be paid into a Solidarity Fund to finance future projects. 

    Housing projects predominantly borrow from ethical investors and try not to borrow from    banks .

3. Wroth Wall – Solicitor

Gabi has been speaking to Wroth Wall, solicitor from Mullumbimby, who has been involved with setting up land trusts in NSW. He is offering our group his services for free.

4. Legal Structure

Wroth Wall advised our group to approach Council or Government for a long term lease of a Council owned property or Crown land and to set ourselves up as a not-for-profit incorporated association to act as a community housing developer. We the community developer would also manage the affordable housing project for the Council.

Council land is classified as either Community (no longer than 5 year lease possible) or Operational (can be sold). It is possible for land to be rezoned.

In the discussion the option to set up a trust to develop land was mentioned. A trust can obtain charitable status that allows for tax deductible gift contributions. This option may need further exploration.

5. Housing providers Other housing providers in this area who were at the Echo’s Affordable Housing Forum are: TheNorth Coast Community Housing Co        Ltd http://www.ncchc.org.au/ and ko:ho http://koho.com.au/)

6. Byron Shire Council – Affordable Housing Strategy
The strategy was produced in 2002
Judith Stubbs produced background report in 2008 (see links on website above) and an affordable housing development on Station St in Mullumbimby was put forward in Feb 2009.
Councillor Patrick Morrisey is currently pushing for campground areas on public land.

7. Volunteers to Contact Council / Media / Steering Group

  1. Annie Reid – Town planner, analyst, transport and housing experience
  2. Eva Peterson – Media liaison, advocacy, journalist
  3. Matt Cook – Sustainable Community Developer, scholarship to Findhorn Foundation, Design degree in Permaculture.
  4. Michelle Grant was mentioned as a good grant writer

8. Dudley Leggett – Sustainability Research Institute http://www.livingtogethernetwork.net/
Dudley has been working on this project for 40 some years and set up a Natural Capital Protection Trust some years back. The research institute (construction, waste management, housing, social relationships, Caring for country – no damage to land. etc.) has been approved by CSIRO and is eligible for government funding.

9.  Website and Ning Site

Jason Lasky (www.hubway.com) worked with Tracey to update the Transition Byron Shire’s websitewww.transitionbyronshire.org so it can be easily used by the Affordable Housing Group for posting information and keeping in touch. The website is linked to transitionbyronshire.ning.com (for forum and member profiles) for the time being. Erin Knowles (www.ptoingmedia.com) has also offered her graphic design and website skills.

Meeting closed shortly after 8:00pm

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