Labor must now deliver for cities

25 November 2007

Labor must deliver on its promises to boost the supply of housing and invest in urban infrastructure, according to the NSW Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that home affordability and the growth of urban communities had been ignored at a federal level for too long.


Were looking forward to meeting the first federal housing minister in eleven years, Mr Gadiel said.


If this appointment is to be meaningful, it must be accompanied by a substantial re-organisation of the Commonwealth bureaucracy around urban issues.


Mr Rudd should introduce his new Housing Affordability Fund quickly although he should think about investing more than the promised $500 million.


Labors Housing Affordability Fund will increase housing supply by providing money for local infrastructure, and giving state and local government incentives to lower development charges.


The swift introduction of Labors National Rental Affordability Scheme will also provide investment incentives to increase the supply of new affordable rental properties, Mr Gadiel said.


The $603 million scheme has the potential to save 50,000 low-middle income families 20 per cent on their rental bills.


The scheme will give a $6,000 Commonwealth tax incentive annually (for up to 10 years) to investors who construct new affordable rental accommodation. Access to the scheme will be dependant on a competitive process and at least an extra $2,000 a year in direct or in kind financial support from state governments.


The scheme is dependant on state co-operation for its success. The Taskforce will ask the NSW Government to back this new initiative 110 per cent, Mr Gadiel said.


Well also be asking the NSW Government to support Mr Rudds plan to release all surplus Commonwealth land for housing development or community infrastructure. This means a firm commitment to fast-track rezoning and the provision of infrastructure.


The NSW Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing NSWs most prominent and important developers, builders and property financiers. The NSW development industrys annual turnover is $35 billion and employs 180,000 people, accounting for six percent of the States total employment. It is the fifth largest contributor to the State economy.


Media Enquires:
Aaron Gadiel,
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904 or (02) 9238 3955

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