Scottsdale vacant lots taken away from CatholicCare

RESCINDED: Community unrest over the donation contributed to the decision according to mayor Greg Howard. Picture: Supplied
RESCINDED: Community unrest over the donation contributed to the decision according to mayor Greg Howard. Picture: Supplied

Ten vacant lots promised to CatholicCare for a social housing program will be put back onto the open market.

A motion to rescind the current agreement to gift the lots, and instead sell them to the public, was carried unanimously on Monday at the September council meeting.

The proposal would have seen the Dorset Council donate the vacant lots to CatholicCare as a part of a social housing program. 

The council approved the social housing development in 2016, however an administrative error meant that the motion was brought back to council on Monday.

Mayor Greg Howard said there was no interest shown in any of the lots when they were on the market, despite up to $40,000 of government subsidies made available to potential first home-owners at the time.

“There was $41,000 on offer for someone who bought a lot and completed construction work there, and [the lots] were only worth $30,000 each,” he said.

An impromptu town meeting was called to discuss the proposed CatholicCare social housing development on Wednesday, September 6.

Councillor Dale Jessup said the meeting organisers were concerned the vacant lots were not being put to their best use. 

“The feel from the meeting is that the community would really like to see those lots available to be sold to young families in the area, and create an environment where we have more younger people moving into the area,” he said.

“When we had more industry around Scottsdale there was a lot of young families around, and we've seen a lot of those young families need to move away for work.”

CatholicCare executive officer Tim Gourlay said the housing development would have provided a significant boost to the local economy at Scottsdale.

“The $2.4 million project [would have] directly injected significant dollars into the local community over the several months of construction,” he said. 

“Affordable, safe and sound housing is a basic necessity and right that many Tasmanians are unfortunately missing out on. We [had] an opportunity to change this scenario for those that [would have] moved into the proposed 16 unit development at Scottsdale.”