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Greens call for low-income housing at WIN Grand

The $400 million WIN Grand development should set aside 20 per cent of its apartments for affordable housing, according to a Greens candidate for Wollongong council.

With 402 apartments spread over three blocks, that would mean 80 units earmarked for those on low to middle incomes.

Greens' Jess Whittaker said that, while council was working on a policy to mandate the 20 per cent figure, WIN Grand "could show some goodwill" by conforming to that figure now.

"Young people are being left behind - we need to prioritise giving them opportunities in the housing market over wealthy investors," Ms Whittaker said.

"Wollongong's housing market is woefully unaffordable for first home buyers, essential workers and disadvantaged people. This needs to change."

There is nothing in WIN Grand's Statement of Environmental Effects to suggest there will be any affordable housing in the development.

Ms Whittaker also wanted council to continue plans to turn McCabe Park into "the Central Park of Wollongong".

"It is a beautiful space that is sadly constrained by buildings around the perimeter," Ms Whittaker said.

"It's the perfect location for a high quality skatepark facility and already has an outdoor amphitheater that is underutilised."

A WIN Grand spokesperson said the residential apartment buildings would offer a diversity of design and price points across the 402 apartments.

"Coupled with the site's central CBD location, its accessible ground plane design, and immediate access to public transport and residential parking provisions, WIN Grand provides an amazing opportunity for people of all ages and mobility requirements to live and move around the city centre," the spokesperson said.

"Affordable housing is most commonly available for rent and in most instances is developed with assistance from the NSW and/or Commonwealth Governments, including through planning incentives governed by the State Environmental Planning Policy (affordable Rental Housing) 2009.

"Affordable rental housing may be owned by private developers or investors, local government, charitable organisations or community housing providers. It is often managed by not-for-profit community housing providers, and sometimes by private organisations.

"The project is not seeking to retain the residential apartments for rental. However, that doesn't limit investment interest from investors that might consider partnering with the wide range of affordable housing managers to contribute to the city's affordable housing inventory."

Read more at the Illawarra Mercury