Housing groups and local councils welcome NSW housing targets

Housing groups and local councils welcome NSW housing targets
Image: Elias Bitar, Sydney

Housing groups and local councils have welcomed the state government’s plan to rebalance housing targets across NSW.

Premier Chris Minns revealed on Wednesday the long-awaited housing targets, which will rebalance the building of new homes away from western Sydney and towards councils in Sydney’s inner-city, east and north.

The targets are intended to encourage new development across 43 local government areas spanning Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra over the next five years.

David Borger, Chairman of Housing Now!, a YIMBY group comprised of business, unions, universities and interest groups, said they welcomed the government’s plan to rebalance future housing with achievable targets.

“These initiatives provide a direct and tangible way to improve the liveability of newly delivered communities, promoting smart and sustainable growth strategies that benefit the economy and the community,” he said.

“This announcement inches us closer towards resolving the housing crisis and ensuring safe and affordable homes to families who lost need it.”

The government also announced the first stage of an incentive program for the local governments that meet their targets.

As part of the program, $200 in grants will be set aside for councils to fund more green space such as parks, sporting facilities and smaller pocket parks, plus maintenance of local streets and footpaths.

“Housing Now! supports linking infrastructure with the delivery of more homes and we support an incentivised plan to nudge councils to get on board,” said Borger.

Minns said, “We’re losing too many young people, people who make the city vibrant, essential workers and young families because they can’t afford a place to live in NSW. This has to change.

“I’ve talked a long time about the need to ensure we have a fairer balance of housing across the state – so housing is built close to already established transport links, schools and hospitals.”

Funds from developer contributions paid to the state government will also be used on infrastructure such as schools and hospitals in areas that experience significant increases in density due to housing targets.

Sydney’s Inner West, which has been given the dwelling target of 7800 new homes, will also set out to build 1000 public housing homes in the next five years.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said, “We’ve been clear that the Inner West wants to take responsibility for addressing the housing supply crisis and we are capable of doing this at the local level.”

“Now that we have the NSW Government’s dwelling target, we will be able to respond soon to identify how that can be incorporated into our local planning controls.”

In reference to the 1000 public housing homes, he said, “Addressing the housing affordability crisis requires not just increased densities, but significantly increased investment in new social and affordable housing as well.”

Over the next five years, the state will aim to build 377,000 new homes, 2000 more than NSW’s obligations under the National Housing Accord.

Minister for Planning and Public Space Paul Scully said the targets are ambitious but realistic: “The new targets make for a fairer distribution across Sydney and NSW, with growth in areas where jobs and transport exist or are planned for.”

Eastern LGAs will contribute 41 per cent of the new homes planned for Sydney.

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