Federal Government Report on Housing Calls for More Supply but Sydney’s Plans Not Helping This

Friday 16 December 2016 

The Federal Government’s Report into Home Ownership by the House Economics Committee has called for a boost to supply but the Greater Sydney Commissions Draft District Plans will not help says the Urban Taskforce.



“It is clear from the Federal Government report released today that increasing the supply of housing is the best way to boost home ownership opportunities and address housing affordability, rather than adding even more taxes to the housing sector.” Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “We are concerned that a number of proposals from the Greater Sydney Commission in the Draft District Plans will have the effect of slowing down housing supply just when it needs to be boosted.”


“There are 4 key areas in the planning system that the NSW Government needs to focus on to boost housing supply.”


1. Affordable Housing Levies may reduce supply
“The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) proposes to add a 5 to 10% tax on new housing in areas where rezoning occurs for affordable housing. This will have the effect of increasing the cost of market housing or of reducing financial viability of development which will prevent some housing projects from proceeding.”


2. Redundant Industrial Estates should be renewed with housing and jobs.
“The GSC is also missing opportunities for inner city housing on redundant industrial sites by applying an unnecessarily strict ‘precautionary’ approach to the rezoning or development of industrial land. Many of the inner city industrial precincts are now mainly storage sheds with few jobs involved. There is a great opportunity to boost housing supply through the rezoning of these well located sites.”


3. High density housing must be encouraged in District and Strategic Centres.
“Another initiative of the GSC that will slow down housing supply is the proposed swing against higher density housing in District and Strategic Centres that now seem to be commercial-only zones. These centres are ideal for higher-density urban living close to public transport and amenities and many have been waiting for decades for commercial towers with little market interest.”


4. The planning system must ensure more housing approvals become completions.
“The latest figures from the Department of Planning demonstrate another problem with housing supply in Sydney as only 58% of housing approvals have actually reached completion over the last 5 years. If all approvals had resulted in an actual dwellings on the ground, Sydney would have another 76,000 new homes from the last 5 years.”


“The combination of these four areas of (1) taxes for affordable housing, (2) constraints on new housing in redundant industrial sites, (3) the prohibition of housing in many centres along with (4) the poor approval to completion conversioon rate, due to excessive conditions, of housing approvals to completions must be addressed to boost housing supply in metropolitan Sydney.




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