Tweed Shire Councillor Ron Cooper's affordable housing plan will have to increase its budget fourfold, just to fund the concept plan
Tweed Shire Councillor Ron Cooper's affordable housing plan will have to increase its budget fourfold, just to fund the concept plan Scott Powick

Tiny homes concept will cost $68,000 more than first thought

A BUDGET blow-out may halt Tweed Shire Council's affordable housing plans before they even start.

Councillor Ron Cooper's titled Smart, Sustainable Housing proposal, which was given the green light to begin for a concept design in February will cost more than four times the amount the council budgeted for.

In February council voted - with the support of Cr Cooper, Reece Byrnes, Chris Cherry and mayor Katie Milne - to allocate $20,000 to tenders for a concept design of a 'tiny homes' project in an industrial estate in Murwillumbah South.

However the tender process has revealed the $20,000 funding is not nearly enough to fund the initial concept plan.

Councillors will vote on Thursday whether to reject to offers, or fork out $88,523.60 to bankroll the initial phase.

The council will recommend to the councillors on Thursday to reject the offers.

Cr Cooper said he would be not be accepting the council's recommendation, believing the concept needed to be funded.

"I am voting to accept the offer because after further looking at it I realised we hadn't put enough money towards it to do it properly and I want to get the job done,” he said.

Councillors Pryce Allsop and Warren Polglase who voted against the motion in February, have told the Tweed Daily News they will be accepting the council's recommendation to reject the tenders.

The decision appears to be resting in the hands of Reece Byrnes, who said he was yet to make up his mind on how he will vote on Thursday.

Cr Byrnes said he was passionate about finding new ways to supply affordable homes to the community, but also admitted the process needed to be financially feasible.

Ultimately I am going to have to have conversations with my colleagues, especially with Councillor Cooper,” Cr Byrnes said.

"I want to advance the matters of affordable housing but we also have to be economically responsible to ratepayers in our region.”