Letter to the Editor: Repurposing Norman House not financially viable with significant government funding

John Lysaught, Advance Housing, AlbanyAlbany Advertiser
Letters to the editor must contain the author’s full name, address and daytime contact number.
Camera IconLetters to the editor must contain the author’s full name, address and daytime contact number. Credit: Canva

Advance Housing is an independent, not for profit, community organisation with charitable status and all surpluses generated from operational activity or developments go back into improving or developing more community housing.

Advance Housing, like all community organisations, has limited financial resources and must get best value for the community from the resources it does have.

Renovating Norman House, even for a re-purposing scenario, is not financially viable without significant government funds which have been denied to us on multiple occasions.

Self-funding the required works would result in much lower levels of community housing being built in the Great Southern.

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Norman House is not on the State heritage register and is only included on the City of Albany local heritage survey which was previously known as the municipal inventory.

The current status of the building is that the State Heritage Office has determined that the place does not warrant assessment for inclusion on the State register.

The only protections afforded to the building are those encapsulated in the current Town Planning Scheme No.1.

Project planning approval will be made by the Development Assessment Panel at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

Cheyne’s Stables is planned on being renovated and repurposed as a common space for the precinct residents and this is included in the planning submission. The Oak tree and the Magnolia tree are being retained and this is also documented in the planning submission.

Advance Housing have acquired the vacant site behind Norman House in order to develop it into a mixture of social housing, worker housing and private ownership options.

Norman House is already owned by Advance Housing, adjoins the development site, is non-compliant, and has been in very poor condition since before our acquisition and we are unable to fund a renovation to the detriment of increasing community housing more broadly.

Albany has a massive shortfall in public transport, so we have strategically focused our planned developments on providing access to CBD or near CBD social and affordable housing for people in need.

Advance Housing also believe that our community benefits from having a genuine mix of residents in each of our developments to enrich the community fabric.

A more detailed clarifying statement is available at Advance Housing’s website at www.advancehousing.com.au

To contribute to the public comment process, please go to https://bit.ly/3rkGYuO .

Letters to the editor must contain the author’s full name, address and daytime contact number. Letters may be edited for space, clarity or legal reasons. Email news@albanyadvertiser.com or post to PO Box 5168 Albany, WA, 6332.

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