Finally, after three years of earnest Ministerial briefings, policy fora and media releases from the Urban Taskforce, there is now a consensus that there is in fact a housing supply crisis.
While some (mostly NSW planners) maintain stubborn denial, the fact is that the drop off in NSW housing approvals has resulted in a commensurate drop off in housing supply and has caused the current pressure on rising rental prices and unaffordable new housing.
So what can be done?
The housing supply crisis was years in the making.
– Years of running down approvals because it was politically expedient not to scare local communities with increased housing numbers.
– Years of apologising for Councils because their focus had been diverted to the mandatory delivery of new Strategic Planning documents so it was, supposedly, acceptable that they stopped doing their day-job, housing assessments and approvals.
– Years of belligerent (or ignorant) denial of a housing supply crisis from senior planning staff including no less than the former Secretary of DPIE.
– Years of refusal to use the skills and resources of the NSW Department of Planning to take the lead on the assessment of major high-value, high-yield housing proposals by using the State Significant Development process (until last week).
– Years of wishful thinking that COVID-19 would ease pressure on the housing market because of the complete collapse in immigration numbers.
– Years of promises to improve the speed of the planning system, but all within the massive constraints of the NSW EP&A Act.
– Years of promising the world in Western Sydney and the new Nancy Bird Walton Airport in terms of new homes, high tech jobs, research facilities, logistics support and the new city of Bradfield with the promises not being matched by infrastructure funding or delivery.
– Years of hoping that affordable housing levies, which were unsupported by increased yield, would deliver solid numbers of more-affordable homes.
So now we have a major problem and it won’t be fixed easily. But at least we do have the attention now of the nation’s political leadership and the is acknowledgement of the problem.
Click here to read the full article on the Sourceable article.