High housing stress in Sydney needs more housing supply: Chris Johnson

High housing stress in Sydney needs more housing supply: Chris Johnson
High housing stress in Sydney needs more housing supply: Chris Johnson


The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report indicates a rise in housing stress so now is not the time to slow down housing production.

The rise in housing stress in Sydney from around 10% in 2005-08 to 13% in 2013-16 needs a response from the housing market.

Clearly the price of housing has risen dramatically in the last decade and this has created problems for the lowest 40% of income earners who spend over 30% of their income on housing.

The best way for the housing industry to help is to ensure there are lots of new homes built at a range of affordability levels.

Housing supply needs to be encouraged by councils and the state government but a number of recent decisions by the NSW Government in a pre-election environment will have the effect of reducing supply dramatically.

The government has allowed 50 NSW councils to defer a terrace house code for a year, stopped planning proposals in Ryde for two years and pulled back from Planned Precincts on the Sydenham to Bankstown rail corridor.

The result of these back-downs from previous policy will be to slow down housing supply and therefore push home prices up again.

The Urban Taskforce is keen to assist with the provision of more affordable housing in line with the direction taken by the NSW Government agency Landcom.

The Landcom approach uses the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP to provide a percentage of affordable homes for a 10-year period. With a reasonable uplift in floor space we believe that thousands of affordable rental apartments could be provided across Sydney.

The supply of affordable homes must be an economically viable component of the overall housing supply system in NSW.

Sydney’s housing problems can only be solved in two ways.

The first is for the NSW Government to fund affordable and social housing and the second is for the private sector to be given incentives to provide affordable housing. 

Sydney’s future housing supply will need a combination of government and private sector commitment to ensure a diverse range of housing is produced.

Chris Johnson is chief of the Urban Taskforce.

Sydney Housing Supply

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