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Build to Rent housing for Northern Rivers boosted by Southern Cross Uni land

Example of low rise apartments at a Landcom project


26 April 2024

Southern Cross University together with Landcom has unlocked a parcel of Lismore land close to the CBD to deliver 50 new rental homes, with 20 per cent set aside for affordable housing.

The agreement with the NSW Government will see Southern Cross University sell approximately 4,500 m2 of land at East Lismore to Landcom for the Build to Rent project.

Located at the University’s front door, the Build to Rent project site is in an ideal location, close to shops, sporting facilities, schools, and other community infrastructure. It is part of the recently announced Heads of Agreement to deliver more than 400 homes as part of the Resilient Lands Program.

“Southern Cross University is an important part of the Lismore community, and we want to use our resources to help our city and its community rebuild and revitalise better and more resilient than ever,” said Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin.

“This Build to Rent development will kickstart the broader project that we are currently negotiating with Landcom. Having this contract signed means we are even closer to seeing this land opened up, and to welcoming new residents, including families, students, and University staff.”

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said the government was getting on with the job of delivering much-needed secure rental homes for the community.

“This agreement will allow an additional 50 new homes to be added to Lismore, housing up to 110 people,” said Mr Scully.

“Having access to affordable and secure housing can’t be the reserve of the few. Projects like this between Landcom and Southern Cross University take us a step closer to an accessible housing system.

"This announcement continues the Government’s ongoing efforts to support flood recovery and tackle the housing crisis.”

Janelle Saffin, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and Member for Lismore, said she was delighted by the announcement, particularly given the Northern Rivers was experiencing a housing and rental crisis prior to the floods.

“Building rental properties will help address the problem of affordability and homelessness. We have about 0.001% available in the rental market and it's just not affordable,” said Ms Saffin.

“Build to Rent housing is an important part of creating more homes to give locals the security of a roof over their heads for themselves and their children. I’m pleased to see Landcom continue its expansion into regional NSW, particularly in the Northern Rivers.”

Landcom, the state-owned land and property development organisation, has secured the site under a call option deed. It will facilitate the development of architecturally-designed rental housing to be held in single ownership and professionally managed.

“Following significant review of land throughout the Northern Rivers, we are now able to move forward to deliver these important rental homes into the community,” said Landcom CEO Alex Wendler.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to continue and strengthen our relationship with Southern Cross University to deliver much needed housing for the people of the Northern Rivers."

Work will now commence to complete the design and planning stages in preparation of a development application. Subject to approvals, construction is expected to begin in 2025 with rental homes to be delivered by 2026.

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Media contact

Sharlene King, Media Office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or [email protected]