Bellingen Shire’s Housing Matters meeting consults hosts and tenants

Bellingen Shire’s Housing Matters Action Group meet locals to discuss its Community Hosting Program.

 

BELLINGEN SHIRE’s Housing Matters Action Group hosted a community meeting at St Margaret’s Church Hall in Bellingen on Saturday for locals to discuss its Community Hosting Program.

The purpose of the Homeowner Information Session was to have conversations with people interested in the group’s initiative to match hosts and tenants to ease the housing crisis in the region.

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“The meeting was very successful, it’s all we could have asked for; great questions and feedback all of which we can use to develop the pilot scheme,” Vicki Parkes, a member of the Housing Matters Community Hosting Working Group told News Of The Area.

“Interestingly it was mostly hosts who attended, and one tenant, all Bellingen Shire residents.

“We now have five hosts who are willing to proceed with developing the hosting project with us.”

All attendees were given an information pack with guidelines, things to think about and review our agreement for a trial period with a lodger.

“We felt that both the lodger and the host wouldn’t want to be obligated to a six-month lease without a trial.

“We’re suggesting a three-month lease which people can get out of with two weeks’ notice and no penalty,” said Vicki.

The Housing Matters group is doing the pilot to learn and hone the agreement, “To have hosts help us further develop the finer points.”

Attendees were also impressed with the work already achieved, especially the connection with flatmate.com.

“We’re doing all this with funding from the Bellingen Shire Disaster and Recovery Resilience Program so it’s really rewarding to find people do want what we’re developing.

“The potential lodger who came along on Saturday is keen to participate to the program from the lodger’s point of view.

“Both lodgers and hosts are required to have a strong connection with Bellingen Shire.”

They will need to provide two local references, which, said Vicki, gives a sense of trust.

Bellingen Shire’s Community Hosting Program information pack is on the website www.housingmatters.org.au and Housing Matters Action Group Facebook page.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

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