A housing win for Sydney’s battling renters & organised civil society
- but falls short of a comprehensive solution
Premier finally puts her personal stamp of approval on policy elements recommended by the Sydney Alliance in “A Metropolis in Three Cities” plan released Sunday 18th March.
- Alliance cautiously welcome the inclusion of affordable housing, but targets are too low to reach the 8000 affordable homes per year needed to support Sydney’s low-income households.
The Sydney Alliance has welcomed the inclusion of inclusionary zoning in the Governments new strategic plan “A metropolis in three cities”.
This is a recognition of the housing needs of low and moderate income earners in one of the world’s most unaffordable cities for housing.
The plan will entrench the provision of inclusionary zoning for providing affordable rental housing across all Sydney Councils with targets.
Sydney Alliance Housing Team Chair, Magnus Linder, said today’s decision, deep in the detail of the plans (objective 11), was a long fought for win for the Greater Sydney region, - and the Sydney Alliance who have helped unify the city behind the policy. However, he cautioned that without future numerical targets, the plan will fall short.
The Sydney Alliance is the city's largest coalition of faith, union and community groups representing hundreds of thousands of Sydney-siders.
“The campaign which the Alliance initiated, and helped drive in partnership with community organisations, councils and the business community, has been more than four years in the making, and today’s outcome shows what can be achieved through collaboration and determination,” he said.
While targets are not the only way to create affordable housing, they are scalable, specific and enforceable and one of the most effective policies the NSW Government has the power to implement. The Greater Sydney Region plan incorporates percentages that appear to be too low to meet the current and future demand. Numerical targets would solve this problem simply.
Plan falls short
‘8,000 affordable rental homes (ARH) are currently needed every year. We hope that the omission of specific inclusion of ARH in the plans today will not be the final position of the government ahead of the next election. If it is, this policy offers too little for the hundreds of thousands of low-income households in Sydney’ he said.
Since 2013, the Sydney Alliance has called on the NSW Government to support action on affordable housing through a plan, with numerical targets, to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in NSW.
“One of the key messages that the NSW Government, and the Greater Sydney Commission, has heard through its engagement with the community on its major plans for the region, is the need for high-quality affordable rental housing.
Devil in the detail & next steps:
Magnus Linder said “From here want to see: tight viability criteria so we don’t let land speculators wriggle out of their commitments; permanently affordable rentals run by the community under SEPP 70, not homes gifted back to developers after ten years; and more concrete plans for moderate-income households.
The Alliance looks forward to working with the Greater Sydney Commission and diverse government agencies to deliver bricks and mortar affordable homes as soon as possible.
The Alliance will work closely with local councils to raise their targets to at least 15% affordable housing in new developments on private land and 30% on public land.
For Comment: Magnus Linder, Chair of the Sydney Alliance Housing Team: 0417 487 052
Alternate Contact, David Barrow, Lead Organiser, Sydney Alliance: 0416028001