Low-cost housing provider Southern Cross Housing (SCH) has shown the public two options for their yet-to-be-submitted Bomaderry affordable housing development.
Located at 44-52 Coomea Street and situated on council land, the project would contain 39 units spread across two buildings which would break down into 10 studio apartments, 16 one bedroom units, 11 two bedroom units and two three bedroom units.
SCH are seeking community feedback on two proposed buildings to help inform the final design to be submitted to council for approval.
SCH said the development would provide much needed affordable housing and job opportunities in the Shoalhaven and revitalise the Bomaderry town centre.
The project addresses Shoalhaven City Council's Affordable Housing Strategy which estimates very low income renters will likely make up at least 60 per cent of those living in housing stress over the coming decade or two.
Shoalhaven City Council mayor Amanda Findley said council had helped put the land package together in order to enable affordable housing.
"It's in a fantastic location that's close to transport and shops," she said.
She said the designs focus on aesthetics and will improve the look of Bomaderry.
"It's going to be a change for Bomaderry, there's no doubt about that considering that [very small fibro homes are on the site now]," said mayor Findley.
"Housing affordability issues in the Shoalhaven are growing issues that we need to deal with together. These units will give people the opportunity to be able to rent something that is affordable, rather than something on the open private market that's not affordable."
SCH development and construction manager Stephen King said the development would help meet housing demand for women in need of shelter, a problem which isn't being met now.
He said the project will give residents a sense of community as common play and gardening areas will be incorporated into the design.
One Facebook commenter said it was time for Bomaderry to get an upgrade.
"yet it should keep a historic perspective but equally, any architect working on any design should pay close attention to housing of the future which takes into account weather, sustainable materials, cutting edge technology to make the building last," they said.
The project is administered by a steering group made up of representatives from Southern Cross Housing, Shoalhaven City Council and NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
Shoalhaven City Council, Southern Cross Housing and the Wollongong chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia had worked with potential tenants over three years ago to inform the direction of the project.
Information sessions were going to be held in Bomaderry on August 25 but COVID rules caused SCH to postpone the event.
SCH currently manages three affordable housing complexes in Bomaderry (located at Ritchie, Bunberra and Karowa Street). They receive an average of four complaints a year.
In a presentation to Bomaderry residents and community groups, SCH said "experience shows that expected [social] issues ... post construction do not often eventuate".
The presentation pointed to three examples where complaints had not been received despite initial community backlash. Namely a private hotel repurposed into an affordable housing complex in Nowra in 2017, a boarding house built in Nowra in 2019, and the purchase of a development site to build 25 dwellings in Worrigee twenty years ago.
Community consultation about the three options are expected to wrap up at the end of September. Architects will then incorporate the feedback into the final design and the application will be submitted to council.
Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
For more project information click here or call SCH on 1300 757 885