Berejiklian’s priorities leave out housing supply: Chris Johnson

PROPERTY OBSERVER

 

The NSW Premier’s priorities for the next four years do not include housing supply.

The previous priorities for the NSW Premier for 2015 – 2019 included a number of priorities around housing supply, but these have been left off the 2019 – 2023 priorities.

While many of the Premier’s new priorities are laudable, the absence of any priority around housing supply seems to signal a lack of interest in how the state will house population growth in an affordable manner.

Premiers Priority 7 is about reducing street homelessness by 50% by 2025, and this is a laudable priority to pursue.

Urban Taskforce member Toga has led the way in this area with their Addison Project in Randwick, which provides accommodation free of charge in an old motel that is awaiting development.

Another Urban Taskforce member, PAYCE, supports the Sydney Street Choir and they run programs that help with homelessness.

The last round of Premier’s Priorities included ‘Making Housing More Affordable’ (Including target housing completions per year) and “Faster Housing Approvals’ and ‘Accelerated Rezoning for Housing’ but none of these have been included in the latest priority list.

While housing value has decreased in the last few years, there is now a big housing approval shortage that will inevitably lead to an under supply in the years ahead. This will reduce the number of new homes required for population growth, and inevitably lead to housing prices going up again.

The priorities from the last four years that referred to housing supply related to the planning system seem to have been replaced by priorities for greener public spaces and for greening the city.

While these are worthwhile areas to aim for they do not compare to the economic importance of housing supply and housing costs.

Clearly how housing is managed in a time of high population growth is an important policy issue for the NSW Government that should be measured. As the Premier in her media Release said, ‘What gets measured gets done’.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO

 

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