Inquiry highlights Government reform is desperately needed to address the affordable housing crisis

The release of the report from the Parliamentary Social, Public and Affordable Housing inquiry initiated by The Greens NSW Housing spokesperson, Jan Barham, has identified key areas for reform to address the housing crisis in NSW. The inquiry received over 250 submissions and visited inner city, suburban and regional areas to see and hear first-hand from local communities.

“This inquiry has heard about the challenges being faced across the state and the impacts of unaffordable housing. The inquiry recognised that housing is not just about people having a roof over their head, but living in a home that is affordable and connected to transport and jobs, and to the education and support services they need to secure their wellbeing,” Ms Barham said.

“The Government must take up these recommendations and deliver housing that is affordable and appropriate to all people in our communities. Many people are finding it difficult to secure housing that meets their needs, including key workers, people with disabilities, and women and children at risk from domestic violence,” Ms Barham said.

Ms Barham noted that some key recommendations of the inquiry pointed to the lack of strategy and direction in housing policy.

“The inquiry has recommended the State consider the appointment of a dedicated Housing Minister and the establishment of an advisory council. It has also highlighted the Government’s failure to deliver policies and strategies to define the future of social and affordable housing.

“Addressing the housing crisis is an issue for all levels of government. It is crucial that long-term partnerships with the Australian Government continue, including the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH),” Ms Barham said.

Ms Barham also emphasised the importance of planning and taxation policies that ensure affordable housing is available across Sydney and the state.

“Housing affordability pressures continue to worsen and it will take clear direction to address the problem. The Government should ensure that the NSW planning system, along with local government strategies, consider targets for the inclusion of affordable housing that is suited to the needs of local communities.

“The inquiry also heard clear concerns that existing tax policies, such as state stamp duty and negative gearing of investments, could be reviewed and a long-term transition planned to promote housing affordability and the delivery of appropriate new supply.

“We need to get affordable housing right to ensure that people are able to build successful lives, ensure their wellbeing and prevent the risk of homelessness,” Ms Barham concluded.

NSW Parliamentary inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing final report

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891