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Housing Survey Begins

24/7/2009

Bass Coast Shire Council has commenced a housing survey to try and minimise some of the housing impacts associated with the desalination plant.

Chief Executive Officer, Allan Bawden, said that Council had been working on a strategy to find an entirely new market of accommodation.

“There are over 11,000 holiday homes in Bass Coast,” said Mr Bawden. “We are trying to source holiday homes that are not currently being used for publicly rented holiday accommodation or permanently rented to residents of Bass Coast."

“Using holiday homes as a new market will protect the properties that are currently available for long term permanent rentals and leave existing holiday accommodation available to drive the local tourism economy,” explained Mr Bawden.

“At peak period, the project company will be looking to house approximately 900 workers and protecting low income earners and renters is a real priority for Council."

"We don’t want to see disadvantaged residents being pushed out of their homes or the area due to housing stress,” continued Mr Bawden.

Over 6,000 non resident ratepayers will receive a copy of the survey in the mail over the next week.

“This survey will help identify any holiday homes that could be made available to house workers and contractors during the construction of the plant,” said Mr Bawden.

“Realistically, only a small percentage of vacant homes in Bass Coast are needed to house the 900 or so workers during peak period.”

Council completes a survey of holiday home owners every two years to help it understand the economic impact of tourism in the Shire and the kind of services needed to support holiday homes.

“This year, Council has included survey questions regarding housing availability and the Department of Sustainability and Environment has agreed to fund the housing study,” explained Mr Bawden.

“The survey targets all Bass Coast non-resident ratepayers with houses located within a 20 kilometre radius of the plant site. For the purpose of gathering information about the economic impact of tourism, an additional 1500 home owners will receive the survey.”

Residents who live in Bass Coast and own multiple homes within the municipality will not receive a copy of the survey. Residents who wish to take part in this study can complete an online survey.

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