Boarding house owners will be required to notify their tenants of development plans under policy changes set to be considered by Newcastle council on Tuesday.
The city's Labor councillors will move a motion at tonight's ordinary meeting proposing a new notification process to ensure tenants are reasonably notified of a development application.
The proposed changes come after what the councillors describe as "distressing media reports of long-term boarding house residents being issued 29-day eviction notices in Cooks Hill".
Councillor Carol Duncan (ALP) said boarding house operators would have to notify their tenants before lodging a DA, and provide them with routine updates through the DA process.
"I was concerned by the limited notice provided to dozens of residents in Cooks Hill, advising them to vacate a 70-year-old boarding house, with less than a months' notice," she said.
"The short notice caused unnecessary distress amongst residents, many of whom live with a disability, who were forced to find alternate accommodation."
"Re-housing vulnerable people is challenging at the best of times, let alone when compounded by extremely tight deadlines due to poor notice from landlords and in the severe accommodation shortages we're seeing exacerbated by rapidly rising rental costs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Cr Duncan said the changes wouldn't "restrict development" but ensure "tenants have plenty of notice" ... "well before being caught by surprise by an eviction notice".
Meanwhile, a development application has been lodged for a 32-room boarding house in Shortland.
Wilson Planning has submitted plans the $3 million project at 297 Sandgate Road.
It includes 32 rooms, basement parking, a communal room with deck and open space, and manager's accommodation. The property currently features a family home but it is located within a business-zoned area.
"Given the site's proximity to the Shortland Neighbourhood Centre and public transport, this type of accommodation would be highly sought after by professional lodgers and university students," the DA says.
The plans are on exhibition until August 11.
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