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Byron Shire Council Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner. Photo: Contrbuted.

Byron Shire Council Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner. Photo: Sarah Ndiaye.

DOES DEPUTY Mayor Paul Spooner have a love affair with affordable housing?

This was the unusual claim made by a Byron Shire Greens councillor during a radio interview last Friday.

Cr Duncan Dey made the claim while being interviewed about a Byron Shire Council affordable housing approval that was supported by Cr. Spooner.

In an interview aired on local radio station Bay-FM, Cr Dey said: “It’s like he had some love affair with the granting of affordable housing.”

In response Cr. Spooner has said: “If supporting the provision of cheaper housing for Byron Shire locals is having a love affair with affordable housing then bring on the chocolates and roses!”

“I will always support the provision of and access to quality, cheaper housing for locals in our region. Byron Shire is at a crisis point when it comes to the provision of decent, affordable housing. Too many people are living in garages and makeshift accommodation in our Shire. It’s time we address this pressing issue as a council and as a community. “

“What I don’t understand is why the Greens councillors don’t support it. It’s not good enough to just talk about wanting affordable housing – you have to do something about it.”

Byron Council, at its meeting on Thursday, approved an 8 unit development in Stuart Street, Mullumbimby. Two of these units will be rented as affordable units for 80% of the market value. The development will also be providing a share car for access by the tenants.

At the same meeting Cr. Spooner moved a successful amendment to the Draft Byron Shire Residential Strategy to consider the economic and social benefits of adopting a 30% affordable housing provision into the Shire’s planning instruments.

Cr Spooner says, “The adoption of this provision into our planning instruments would unlock new housing that is within the reach of local young residents. Currently, no housing is affordable for young people within the shire. This situation must change.”

Cr. Spooner will be standing in the upcoming council elections and has nominated for the position of Mayor.

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Sarah Ndiaye on August 8, 2016 2:01 pm

Photo by Sarah Ndiaye

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