Responding to the State Government's Affordable Housing announcement

I call on the State Government to work with Councils on the best way to achieve additional Affordable Housing.

Responding to the State Government's Affordable Housing announcement

Yesterday, the State Government announced incentives for developers who provide Affordable Housing. I welcome this long overdue focus on affordable housing and call on the Government to work with Councils on the best way to achieve this.

These proposed State Government incentives would allow developers to increase their height and floor space over our local planning controls, by an alarming 30 percent.

This means a 100-metre building would become 130 metres high, while the density of each development would increase significantly, without extra Affordable and Social Housing.

Additionally, Affordable Housing would be mandated for just 15 years. This means after that time, it could be sold off or rented out at market rates. Affordable Housing should be in perpetuity.

Finally, the changes propose allowing development to bypass Council planning controls by enacting the State Significant Development pathway for any build over $75 million that provides 15 percent Affordable Housing.

This removes planning powers away from Councils, who are best placed to understand the needs of their communities. In the City of Sydney development of this size is determined by the Central Sydney Planning Committee, which is made up of a majority of state representatives, including the NSW Government Architect and a representative from the Department of Planning and Environment.

To date, the City has collected $378 million in levies from developers to pass on to community housing providers to build affordable housing in perpetuity. This has resulted in 1,427 Affordable Housing units in our Local Government Area, with another 1,300 anticipated. Our Local Housing Strategy will provide 56,000 dwellings in the 20 years to 2036. The City of Sydney is delivering one-third of the entire dwelling target set by the NSW Government for nine Eastern suburb councils, within our planning controls and development pipeline.

We need density done well, like the Green Square Urban Renewal area. To date we have committed $540 million to create world-class community facilities including an innovative new library and plaza, an aquatic centre, 40 parks and playgrounds, a childcare centre and creative hub, with a primary school on the way.

We need more Affordable and Social Housing in Sydney, but this needs to be done responsibly. Councils are best placed to deliver for their communities, and I urge the State to work with us closely.