Every night the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast (SJA) house around 60 people in 21 old style caravans and six crisis transitional caravan/moveable dwelling units.
Every night they would like to do more, and could, if only the argument with Bega Valley Shire Council could be resolved over what constitutes a moveable dwelling.
The SJA and community have fundraised for the homeless, believing Same Day Granny Flats to be an approved option. After discussion with council, the SJA bought six units.
For the families using them, they have been life savers, bringing stability and dignity at a difficult time.
But after much back and forth, council said they were not caravans and therefore not approved.
The existing six units will stay - but council has said no more can be installed.
With a housing/rental crisis and subsequent homelessness crisis, there is pressure to find a solution.
Mick Brosnan of the SJA has been tireless in his advocacy and practical support of the homeless, but his patience is wearing thin.
"Our council continues to confuse and mislead the community with recent public announcements that moveable dwellings might not be approved," Mr Brosnan said.
"There has been written legal advice, copies of current registration, and expert advice and guidance from a planning expert Professor Roz Hansen that the caravan/moveable dwelling crisis transitional units as used by the SJA in our community for the past 18 months are absolutely able to be approved by our council under current legislation applicable to moveable dwellings," Mr Brosnan said.
"After presenting this proof council still infers lack of safety and suitability, despite the fact that these very same crisis transitional units are totally approved and operational in our own local caravan park," he said.
The matter appears to be coming to a head.
The NSW Minister for Planning and Public Space Paul Scully has sent a letter of NSW councils urging them to get on with the job of increasing housing supply particularly in low and medium density housing zones.
For its part council has responded saying much of the delay is at the hands of the NSW government where too much time is taken to approve changes to the land strategy.
At the council level, the SJA has been told that the matter of Same Day Granny Flats will be on the agenda at the December 13 meeting.
Mr Brosnan is cynical about the timing, given its proximity to the holiday period and has drawn parallels with political bad news announcements on the Friday before a holiday weekend.
Both parties have sought seek legal advice.
But the SJA wants the right of reply on the day, at the meeting.
"We also want to get a copy of their legal opinion from council," Professor Roz Hansen said.
Professor Hansen is on the Affordable Housing Strategy group and wants to see a copy before the meeting.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"After many delays in decision making and contradictory advice over the last 20 months, the council has the opportunity to support our homeless in its projected report to council at the last council meeting of this year on December 13," Mr Brosnan said.
"This is about a housing crisis and our community wants, and expects our council to work for, and with, the community."
The SJA is holding a special fundraising concert on Sunday, November 26 at Oaklands Pambula in support of its push to provide housing solutions for the homeless.
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