The next big project in Sydney’s housing crisis
Posted April 03, 2018 14:34:50 Sydney is in a housing crisis and the city’s housing authority has a plan to tackle the problem.
Key points:The NSW Government has proposed a $1.9 billion plan to provide affordable housing in Sydney with housing and health centres in every corner of the cityThe proposal is backed by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the Sydney Metropolitan Council The plan would see an expanded range of services offered in the city, including a housing authority in every major intersection in the CBD and in every community on the outskirts of the CBD, along with a health and social service network.
A report released by the NSW Government’s housing and community services (HSCS) was published last week.
The plan, which includes a $3.5 billion increase in housing, is backed mainly by the ACOSS and the NSW Council of Trade Unions (STU).
The council, which represents some 2,000 public sector workers, has already pledged $1 billion in housing funding.
The plan proposes to provide 5,000 affordable housing units across the city and has an additional 1,500 units in regional areas.
The council is aiming for 40 per cent of these to be “affordable”.
It is hoped that the new funding will bring down the cost of housing for families and households and also provide “community hubs”, a number of community-based services that include:• a primary care service to provide support to low-income families with children and aged carers• a senior care service that helps people aged 65 and over access health and mental health services• and an affordable housing support services to people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
The new funding comes on top of the $500 million allocated for the city in its 2018 capital plan.
The state’s plan is more ambitious.
It would see the city build an additional 15,000 units and increase the number of affordable homes from around 1,600 to 1,900.
The city’s population of nearly 2.5 million is the second highest in the country behind Melbourne.
Sydney has a median household income of $89,800, or $35,800 higher than the national average of $69,700.
The government says it has identified 2,800 properties that could be made available for sale in Sydney, with up to a half of these affordable.
The report, called ‘Borders of Opportunity’, outlined three priorities for the $1,9 billion funding.
It said that it wanted to provide access to affordable housing for at least one-quarter of the population, and to provide housing for people who are in a high-cost area and unable to afford to live in the area.
“The goal is to provide people with the opportunity to build a home, to build up a life, to be able to have a community of people who love them,” Dr Paul Jones, the report’s author, told ABC Radio Sydney’s Morning Report.
“The idea is to create an environment where people can live together, where they can be a part of the community, where you don’t need to be a single person living alone.”
A third of the new housing would be provided by the government’s Regional Housing Development Strategy, which is set to be introduced in the state’s next budget.
Dr Jones said the plan would also build on existing affordable housing programs, with a focus on “a mix of social and housing” and “a new approach to affordable development”.
“What we want to see is that affordable housing is provided at the regional level, and we want a mix of that,” he said.
“We want to ensure that it’s a mix that’s affordable to everyone, and that it offers people opportunities to get into and into the housing.”
Dr Jones is also the author of a new book called The Sydney Housing Crisis: A New Approach, which describes the challenges facing the city today.
In his report, Dr Jones said:”There’s a lot of pressure on housing affordability, but there’s also a lot to be gained in a lot less money.”
“We have to recognise that we are a big city with a very complex housing system,” he added.
“We are one of the wealthiest cities in the world, but we’re also a very low income city.”‘
There is no silver bullet’There are no silver bullets, he said, and some measures were “overwhelmingly successful”.
“There is a real need for a real and comprehensive approach to housing, but that approach will have to be holistic, and I don’t think it’s the silver bullet,” Dr Jones concluded.
“It will have a long-term impact on the city.
But we can do something about it.”