How do I convince conservative MPs about Shared Value?

A:

Following are points aimed at conservative listeners (who may have concerns from a number of different angles that progressives may not have considered problems). 

  1. We are asking the government to create the conditions in which private sector developers can deliver a proportion of affordable homes in all developments. The government does this by liberalising development controls.
  2. Value Sharing doesn’t cost taxpayers nor does it affect the viability of developments since it is funded by newly created wealth from the planning value uplift. 
  3. Value Sharing recognises that no one sector has the answer to the issue of housing affordability. Value Sharing is an innovative collaboration that leverages the best of public, private and community sectors. Private entrepreneurialism, with community sector for-mission values and expertise and government scale.
  4. Value Sharing works for developers to know before they buy the land what the obligations will be so that these can be factored into the purchase price.
  5.  While it wouldn’t be in developers’ interest to openly argue for it, developers are very used to integrating Value Sharing % overseas. Lend lease and PACE endorsed CFS paper on this issue.
  6. Sydney needs density done well with a doubling of the population over the next 40 years. (This was in the NSW Government intergenerational report June 2016)
  7. We know liveability and productivity go hand in hand in a successful knowledge based economy of the 21st century. 
  8. In a global economy, a diverse ‘city for all’ wins the competition for investment. In such a city, housing is not a barrier to skilled migration, retention of innovators, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
  9. Value Sharing provides a market for Sydneysiders in the lowest two quintiles of the economy that provide vital services to the city. * Note, some of the public advocacy for affordable housing has focused on teachers, police, nurses etc. They were used by local councils who wanted to make the argument about affordable housing to communities worried about public housing tenants. There was push back from Premier’s about this as it seemed like a critique of how much the NSW government was paying public sector workers and middle class welfare. These professions would earn above the threshold. The lowest two quintiles would cover base level jobs such as hospital orderlies, street cleaners etc.
  10. Unlike social housing tenants, people who use affordable housing are most often working but increasingly priced out of the rental market.
  11. Currently the gap between social housing and market rental is so great that there is perverse incentive to stay in social housing. Affordable housing provides a step out of welfare dependency.
  12. Social housing is dealing with the bottom 2%, and the transition out of social housing is at historic lows. Successful transition out of social housing is a key state priority under the Premier’s priorities – under the ‘protecting the vulnerable’ category.
  13. When a citizen transitions out of public housing they become eligible for federal rent assistance. Bringing funds into NSW.
  14. Who runs it? Community housing providers are agents for growing the supply of affordable rental housing.
  15. Value Sharing, phased in and considered, can be integrated easily into the booming construction industry which is the basis of so much of Sydney’s current prosperity.
  16. The government is succeeding in unlocking supply, home approvals are at record levels, but remains very unaffordable for most people in the lowest two quintiles.
  17. Even a 15% shared value target would be seen as conservative for a global city where San Francisco is debating 20, 30, 40%, Amsterdam has 30%, London has Tory Mayor Boris Johnson arguing for 31% and 50% in the past.
  18. Acting on housing is electorally popular! Value Sharing would see the NSW government acting in a measured and considered way for the most vulnerable. This helps build community support for ‘density done right’ by mobilising non-traditional community allies to support density.
  19. Value Sharing helps tackles homelessness by going "upriver" to where problems begin. The Sydney Alliance hears stories from Exodus, Jewish House, Muslim Womens’ Association and Wayside Chapel of more and more employed people coming to their services because they cannot find or afford rental.
  20. The cost of homelessness to the state is far greater than prevention through affordable housing.
  21. Families; Affordable housing is an option that can relieve familial stress caused by economic hardship. Mixed communities where young and old family members can afford to live nearby knits together social fabric and allows family members to help each other with child minding and caring for their aging kin. 
  22. Mixed communities provide greater opportunities for disadvantaged kids to succeed and would stand in contrast to badly planned estates that have become places of high disadvantage at Sydney’s fringe.
  23. For women seeking safety from domestic violence, affordable housing provides an alternative option to public housing that may be located amongst highly vulnerable people. 
  24. The 2011 NSW census found that 36% of older homeless people were women. However, this figure is considered to be an underestimate as older women experiencing homelessness are not generally found sleeping rough or in crisis accommodation, but are staying with friends, couch surfing or living in backpacker accommodation, boarding houses or hostels. Read the full story here
  25. Access to employment- city employers have better access to workers (wait staff, cleaners, childcare workers, orderlies) who are losing out good employees to regional competitors (e.g. St Vincent’s Hospital has a big issue of the turnover of base level staff).
  26. Affordable housing creates opportunities for people to build stability and continue to contribute to the tax base, spend more time with their children or families and contribute to the economy as consumers. Balances out opportunity cost?
  27. Value Sharing is not establishing a new precedent; but backing something that already works in Sydney- Jordan Springs, Citywest, Rouse Hill, Greensquare. There are some other examples through voluntary planning agreements with local council.  
  28. There have been no reported negative impacts of the affordable-housing levies in those parts of Sydney where they apply, either in terms of development disincentives or hour price inflation. 

 

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