Solution to housing crisis in the spotlight at Stockton and Tomaree today

Two local MPs will inspect the Stockton Centre and Tomaree Lodge today in search of short-term emergency housing opportunities.

Minister for Disability Inclusion and Port Stephens MP Kate Washington will visit Stockton with Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp. The Stockton Centre was closed as a large residential disability centre in 2020 and has since been vacant.

NSW Labor and local community groups called for the former state government to launch an investigation into whether or not the Stockton Centre could be used as short-term emergency housing last year but the proposal was rejected.

The proposal also suggested temporary use as crisis accommodation until the long-term future of the site is determined.

Kate Washington will visit Tomaree Lodge this afternoon as well, which is also currently vacant.

“As Minister, I have directed the Department to reconsider the proposal in light of the worsening housing crisis in the Hunter,” said Ms Washington.

“If this large, unused property presents any opportunities for emergency accommodation, we are keen to pursue it.

“We want to see the state of the buildings ourselves. We want to understand the opportunities and we want to understand the challenges.”

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