CRIME concerns and hardship were among the issues to come from north Orange residents and business owners on Housing Plus' development application for affordable housing.
Councillors decided on Thursday night to make a submission on the Emerald Street DA, which will ultimately be decided by the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel - some councillors were concerned about cluster development, while others said similar developments occurred across the city.
Several residents spoke on the night, but the written submissions sent to Orange City Council as part of the assessment also shone a light on their experiences.
The Hay family, which owns Waratah Early Learning Centre and Waratah Saplings Children's Service, wrote as north Orange had developed, so had the demographics and cigarette butts, beer bottles, a bong and even a condom had been discovered in the playground.
"We have already had offenders jump our preschool fence and cut off our 'leap frogs' with a chainsaw, numerous damage and graffiti to our front gates and side fences," the submission said.
"Pedestrians have been seen checking our employees' parked cars for possible entry points for theft."
The family expressed a fear the situation would worsen if the DA proceeded.
I work three jobs to pay the $450 per week rent to keep my children in a safe home.Sarah Stewart
Diamond Drive residents Caleb and Natasha Scott said their trees had been snapped in half and their car aerial was stolen, while fellow residents John and Dianne Wellard spoke about living opposite a similar development in Taree where they were eventually advised by police not to approach due to a particular tenant.
"Police attended four to five times every night, taxis would not come after dark," the submission said.
However, Sarah Stewart spoke up about her personal hardship as a single mother of four.
"I work three jobs to pay the $450 per week rent to keep my children in a safe home," she said.
"If these affordable housing homes were to be approved, I would be able to quit at least one of these jobs and spend more time with my children."
Darrell Hair wrote about his childhood as the son of a World War II veteran and how his parents had relied on government housing until they qualified for a war veteran's loan.
"Without the assistance of the then-Housing Commission, my parents would not have been able to continue working and living in Orange," he said.
Christina Maybin wrote she and her daughter became homeless a few years ago, but were lucky they had family to take them in and her income was high enough to afford a rental property.
"If I had been on a lower income, I would have had to move to another town," she said.
The panel meeting is yet to be set.
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