Push for affordable housing in new land releases mix gets backing

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Affordable housing must be part of the mix in new land releases
Affordable housing must be part of the mix in new land releases in western Sydney, says the Greater Sydney Commission, a call now backed by WSROC.

The Greater Sydney Commission’s focus on affordable housing for new land releases in Sydney has received backing from a local organisation.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has today welcomed the focus on affordability by the commission.

WSROC  president Stephen Bali says that with property values rising, housing is becoming unaffordable for many, even in the outermost suburbs of Western Sydney, where rent can be as much as $500 a week for a modest family home.

“If housing affordability is not addressed we will see growing numbers of working homeless in our city,” he said.

“We need to ensure that people on low to moderate incomes can afford to live in Sydney because without them – the cleaners, childcare workers, hairdressers, hospitality and retail workers – our city wouldn’t function,” Mr Bali said.

“Five to 10 per cent affordable housing is a good, workable benchmark to get the conversation started. But there is no reason this number couldn’t increase over time,” he said.

“In some cities around the world affordable housing quotas are much higher. Certain areas of London have 30 to 50 per cent affordable housing. In New York, up to 30 per cent.

“That said, housing governance structures and policy settings in the US and UK are substantially different from ours and it would take time to transition if Sydney decided to go down a similar path.

“We look forward to discussing the details of this proposal with the Greater Sydney Commission in the coming months as good implementation will be key to ensuring this initiative is successful.

“There needs to be assurances that the final strategy will address both affordable and social housing, as well as supporting people to eventually move into the general housing market,” he said.

“It will also be critical to ensure that the final strategy doesn’t have unforeseen effects on the rest of the property market,” he said.

“There is no doubt a workable solution can be found – one that works for governments, councils, developers, and of course, tenants,” he said.


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