The NSW community housing sector is calling for a partnership with government to deliver 50,000 social housing units over the next decade.
It also wants more government-owned land and more planning incentives for affordable housing.
In a pre-budget submission, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW says the NSW community sector is the largest sector in Australia with ownership or management of more than 51,000 properties.
As such, it says it has significant capacity to deliver new housing supply in partnership with the government and private sector.
CHIA says the wait list for social housing is currently at 50,000 and modelling by UNSW shows NSW will need 317,000 properties by 2036 to meet demand.
Value for money
CEO Mark Degotardi says community housing providers are experts at delivering value for government money.
Rather than taking on the full cost burden for building new housing, government can support the community housing network of not-for-profit providers who can use their existing assets to access low-cost financing.Mark Degotardi
“Rather than taking on the full cost burden for building new housing, government can support the community housing network of not-for-profit providers who can use their existing assets to access low-cost financing,” he says.
The budget wish list includes 5,000 social housing units per year for the next ten years and for more government owned land to be made available for affordable housing, and to be trackable on an open online platform.
CHIA also continues to “strongly support” the ongoing transfer of state social housing assets to community providers.
Leveraging the planning system
The submission says the state planning system provides many opportunities to deliver affordable housing, via mechanisms such as planning agreements, inclusionary zoning and density bonuses.
“Planning can identify the need for affordable housing in particular locations, initiate re-zonings, create framework for affordable contributions and provide incentives for affordable housing developments and speed up planning approval timeframes,” CHIA says.
Despite this “the NSW planning system has made a minimal contribution to the supply of affordable housing”.
The submission calls for the Council Accelerated Assessment Program and the Accelerated Infrastructure funds to be expanded to more councils, and to cover affordable housing.
The state government is in the process of formulating a 20 year housing strategy and is currently reviewing submissions after the release of discussion paper last year.
The date of the 2021-22 budget is yet to be finalised but NSW Treasury says it will most likely be handed down in mid-June.
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