The Sydney Alliance has welcomed reports of a new $100m Federal-NSW infrastructure funding deal to fast-track construction of 781 new social and affordable homes across Sydney.
The Alliance has urged both governments to prioritise affordable housing as a vital public health and economic component in the response to the Covid crisis.
The reported boost in construction will involve electricity, water, telecommunications, and sewerage services, as well as road connections, being accelerated by the agreement between the Morrison and Berejiklian governments.
The Federal Government will provide the funding to NSW in loans and grants for the infrastructure through the National Housing Infrastructure facility.
The Sydney Alliance, which has campaigned strongly with national partners for the increased funding for urgent affordable housing, has commended the initiative and acknowledged the efforts of NSW Housing Minister Melinda Pavey.
Says Alliance Housing Co-chair and CEO of Churches Housing Magnus Linder: “This is a good step forwards, both for meeting Sydney’s urgent affordable housing needs and for a much-needed job boost in the pandemic”.
A recent Sydney Alliance survey of 1042 NSW community and religious leaders, 72% or respondents thought “Ensuring a safe, secure, sustainable and affordable home for all people” was among the most important outcomes of government stimulus. Of 12 government projects nominated leaders ranked “Restoring our current social housing to a liveable and decent condition and make fit for the future through renewables” and “Building 5000 new social housing dwellings per year” as the most important.
“We urge both Federal and NSW Governments to see this as just a first step. Tens of thousands of new social and affordable homes are needed year just to prevent Sydney’s unaffordable housing crisis from getting worse. These constructions provide excellent stimulus to the economy”
“Fast-tracking new social and affordable housing and its related services across Sydney will make a big difference to public health and safety, and will generate jobs essential to this city’s recovery.”
The Sydney Alliance of not-for-profit organisations has urged the NSW Government in its current longer-term housing strategy consultations to prioritise the building of new social housing, the extension of affordable rental unit quotas across new developments, and other initiatives proposed by planning experts.