Government response to inquiry must deliver action on housing crisis

NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing Jan Barham is urging the Government to follow through with a comprehensive implementation plan on housing affordability after its response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing supported many of the recommendations.

“Although this response has been a long time coming, the NSW Government’s predominately positive responses to the inquiry’s recommendations and acknowledgement of its extensive examination of the issues relating to social and affordable housing is welcome”, said Ms Barham.

“Our inquiry found that there was a clear shortage of affordable and social housing across Sydney and New South Wales. The Government’s support for the provision and maintenance of affordable housing to be a key objective of the state planning system, including support for planning controls such as inclusionary zoning to develop more affordable housing is a positive step forward.”

“It’s essential that the Government now acts to deliver more affordable housing and improve the opportunity for people on low and moderate incomes to find a stable and suitable home close to jobs, education and services. The Government must make it a priority to support the delivery of additional affordable housing supply and maintain existing stock.”

“The Government has also acknowledged that there are already a number of planning instruments available to develop affordable housing within the private market. There is more that can be done to ensure new development delivers a range of housing types and diverse communities, instead of increasing gentrification.”

Some important recommendations were rejected by the Government.

“The opposition to making housing affordability a relevant consideration in disputes regarding excessive site fee increases for residential park residents is unfair. Most park residents are on low incomes and housing affordability should be a key consideration when the NSW Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal considers unfair fee increases.”

“It’s also disappointing the Government rejected a proposal for ten per cent of dwellings in multi-unit properties sold by the state in Sydney to be allocated as affordable housing. Sydney has an acute shortage of social and affordable housing and this recommendation offers a low-cost way of boosting supply.”

“A whole of government approach and better collaboration with Federal and local governments is needed to halt the increasing housing crisis and ensure prospective home owners and renters can secure an affordable home,” Ms Barham said.

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

Background: Social, Public and Affordable Housing Inquiry report and Government response

Related: Government must back social housing growth with public investment, support services and housing affordability reform