There is no endless urban sprawl Taskforce disagrees with Minister

10 October 2010

The Urban Taskforce has rejected todays suggestion by Federal Government that the nation was suffering endless urban sprawl. On the Sky News Australian Agenda program this morning, the Minister for Environment, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, said that the idea of thinking that its somehow good for the economy to continue to engage in endless urban sprawl I dont think thats sound.

The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said Mr Burkes comments did not match up with the considered comments of the governments expert advisors.


Mr Bukes own National Housing Supply Council has said that we have a national housing shortfall of 178,000 homes, with a projection for it to grow to 308,000 dwellings over the next four years, Mr Gadiel said.


The council identified institutional constraints that are making it difficult to supply enough housing in NSW, south-east Queensland, Perth and Melbourne.


There is no sign of ˜endless urban sprawl just clear evidence that our cities are not growing rapidly enough.

Mr Gadiel said that data from the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council suggest increasing social concerns are a consequence of an undersupply of housing.


The Reform Council says “there is strong evidence of a disconnect between supply and demand in the housing market, resulting in a shortage of supply that has led to an increase in housing costs”.


According to the Reform Council, a massive 37 per cent of low-income renter households are officially in rental stress”that is, they are paying more than 30 per cent of their gross household income in rent, Mr Gadiel said.


The proportion in NSW is significantly higher, with almost half of all low-income renter households”46 per cent”in rental stress.


Mr Gadiel said that only 28 per cent of homes sold are affordable to moderate-income households.


“Victoria which has had Australia’s most robust supply of new housing – has the highest proportion of homes affordable to moderate-income households – 41 per cent,” he said.


In Western Australia, where the housing supply has struggled to keep up with the demands of the mineral resource boom, a very low proportion of homes” just 10 per cent”are affordable to moderate-income households.


The proportions of homes affordable to moderate-income households in Perth and Brisbane are very small”only 6 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.


The housing undersupply is creating social and economic problems across our community, yet the Federal Government is talking as if there is a risk of too much housing being supplied.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


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