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MON 19 MAR

Penrith voters strongly support affordable rental targets

NSW Government not doing enough: survey

A new opinion survey in the marginal NSW electorate of Penrith shows voters want the NSW Government to do much more to fix the lack of affordable and secure rental housing.

Policies strongly supported by respondents include provision for affordable units in new developments, and not allowing landlords to evict tenants without good reason.

The face-to-face poll was conducted across the Western Sydney electorate by the Sydney Alliance of not-for-profit organisations on Saturday March 17 – the day before the release, on March 18, of the government’s Greater Sydney Commission final report recommending adoption of affordability targets.

The Sydney Alliance asked 628 people in the electorate their views on the crisis and its effects on them. The key results, released today, were:

  • 72% disagreed that the NSW Government is doing enough to make housing more affordable (40.29% strongly disagreed with this and 31.69% disagreed).
  • 87% said new housing developments in Western Sydney should include units that people on lower incomes can afford to rent (50.96% strongly agreed, 36.46% agreed).
  • 82% disagreed that landlords should be able to evict tenants without giving any good reason (51.59% strongly disagreed with this and 30.89% disagreed).
  • 83% said they were concerned about the lack of affordable rental housing in Western Sydney (48.41% strongly agreed with this and 34.24% agreed).
  • Over 96% agreed that everyone has a right to affordable rental housing (64.81% strongly agreed with this, 31.85% agreed) and to housing that is secure (71.66% strongly agreed, 26.11% agreed).
  • 70% disagreed that it’s easy for people on lower incomes to find affordable rental housing
    (38.22% strongly disagreed with this and 32.17% disagreed.)

The Sydney Alliance is a coalition of more than 40 not-for-profit community, educational, faith and union organisations. It’s been campaigning for NSW and local governments to adopt meaningful “inclusionary zoning” targets for affordable rentals in new developments, and to end “no-grounds” eviction of tenants after the end of their lease, currently allowed by NSW law.

Magnus Linder, Chair of the Alliance’s Housing Committee said: “These findings confirm the concerns we’ve heard from people across Greater Sydney and beyond over the past three years. This crisis has been hurting people, their families and communities.

With housing now the leading issue of concern to NSW voters, our political leaders must make a firm commitment to significant legislated targets for affordable units in new developments. This has been done successfully in cities worldwide, without hurting housing supply or increasing prices.

The proposed targets recommended by the Greater Sydney Commission don’t go far enough. The community needs enforceable targets commensurate with the scale of Sydney’s affordability crisis – our city’s housing is now the second least affordable in the world, behind only Hong Kong.

Several local councils have adopted or improved affordability targets; the NSW government must now show leadership and ensure some consistency by establishing city-wide minimums – at least 15% on private land and 30% on government-owned land.

NSW should also respond to the community’s wish that we end the ‘no-grounds’ eviction, as Victoria has, and give renters proper security.”

More than one hundred volunteers from the Sydney Alliance and partner organisations, including Citizen Action Penrith Affordable Housing, took part in the survey, whose content and methodology was developed with expert advice from top research academics and professionals.


Contact:   

Magnus Linder, Housing Committee chair magnus.linder@churcheshousing.org.au 0417 487 052
David Barrow, Lead Organiser dbarrow@sydneyalliance.org.au 0416 028 001


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