The Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution has submitted a proposal to the Bellingen Shire Council, south of Coffs Harbour, to turn its unused land and buildings into affordable housing.
The proposal outlined how the Not For Profit organisation wants to turn the former Bellorana aged care home, which has been a COVID-19 testing site in recent months, into 16 self-contained units catering to retired women.
RFBI plans to contribute $15 million worth of its land and housing stock, coupled with a government partnership, to make their proposal a reality.
If successful in its offer and in securing $5.7 million in seed money, their units would cost between $200,000 and $250,000 to either refurbish or build.
The driving force behind the proposal was the current rental market in the Bellingen area, with vacancies currently sitting at zero.