The new Goldridge Estate is set to help manage the growing population in Forbes. However, the estate will have no social housing properties included in it despite there being a major need for it. Forbes Shire Councillor Steve Karaitiana is pushing for more social housing in Forbes however, has so far come up against resistance within Council. Steve has been trying to include social housing development on Goldridge Estate, amongst the nearly 400 new houses that will be built, suggesting pepper-potting, an urban housing strategy where social housing is sprinkled amongst different residential areas across town. However, the land was given to Council under the proviso that there will be no social housing build on the land, which was donated to Forbes Shire Council by the Forbes Jemalong Aged People’s Association (FJAPA) after the group disbanded in 2019.
“We disbanded. All the money that was from the sale of the old village, we bought that paddock initially to put up the new retirement village with, which is there now. Independent living units was another bit of land that we gave to Catholic Healthcare, and the land that was left we decided, because it was community money that bought the land, what better community organization is there than Forbes Shire Council,” said Alister Lockhart, former Chairman of the Forbes Jemalong Aged People’s Association. It was included by the FJAPA as the association felt the inclusion of social housing would affect the sale value of the land. “It’s quite a big area, and it was thought that it would be quite a long time before residential could get established. And it was thought there might be some social housing that might pull in there with caravans. And that’s what the thinking was, and it was to stop that from happening because it would make the rest not sell well if there were caravans,” stated Alistair.
According to the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), as of June 2020 Forbes had 206 social housing dwellings, down from 213 in 2015. The latest statistics available on waiting times from the DCJ website indicate that as of 30 June 2019, there were 20 applicants waiting for social housing within Forbes, with less than five of those on the priority list. Expected waiting times for social housing within Forbes at that time ranged between up to two years, and five years. As of July 2020, CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes were dealing with approximately 45 cases of homelessness in Forbes, and throughout the year had helped 120 people at risk of living with homelessness. Specialist Homelessness Service Team Leader for CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes, Andrew Bament, said homelessness is a serious ongoing issue in Forbes and believes there is a need for additional social housing. Full article available online https://katherineeverest.com/2021/01/27/councillor-pushing-for-more-social-housing-in-forbes/