Housing Matters- April 2019

The annual Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed an alarming picture of Australia’s private rental market, and the results for people on low incomes and income support are dire.
Contrary to what some commentators have been expressing the recent downturn in house prices, particularly in major metropolitan areas of NSW, has not led to an increase in the amount of affordable rental housing available.

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Regional NSW locked out of housing debate

Regional housing providers have called on the NSW government to address chronic housing stress in local communities experiencing among the highest levels of housing stress and homelessness in Australia.

NSW will need 316,766 new social and affordable dwellings by 2036 to meet current shortfall and projected demand. But while housing conversations are centred on Sydney’s soaring rents, 1 in 3 of these new dwellings is needed outside the capital.

The rental market is facing renewed scrutiny after the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot revealed yesterday that minimum wage earners and people on government support struggle to find anything affordable to rent in almost all of NSW.

In less than two decades, regional NSW will need 83,500 new social housing homes for people in the local community on very low incomes and government support such the aged pension or Newstart.

The state will need another 33,487 below market rentals properties to provide relief for local families surviving on minimum wages or low incomes.

CHIA NSW Chair, John McKenna said regional towns and country areas are being ignored in debates around housing and housing affordability.

“It’s clear when you compare population sizes that communities in regional NSW are in just as desperate need – if not more than – for social and affordable housing than they are in Sydney,” Mr McKenna said.

“A combination of lower wages and increasing rents and house price mean that people in regional NSW are doing it tougher than almost anywhere else in Australia, going without many essentials including food just to pay the rent.

“The flow on effect to local economies is huge. Too many politicians are still saying move to country areas because it’s cheaper, but the reality is very different for many people already living in these areas.

“The government has said regional infrastructure is a priority – housing is absolutely critical infrastructure that must be funded in all areas of NSW, not just in the city.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

Regional NSW locked out of housing debate – 1 in 3 new social and affordable homes are needed outside Sydney

22,700 new social and affordable homes needed in Newcastle Hunter region

12,000 new social and affordable homes needed in Richmond and Tweed

6,900 new social and affordable homes needed in New England

4,600 new social and affordable homes needed in Riverina region

6,900 new social and affordable homes needed in Central West

Anglicare snapshot finds just two homes for Newstart recipients

The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot released today shows the urgent need for more social and affordable housing across NSW, the state’s not for profit housing industry said today, with just two rental listings in Australia suitable for single Newstart recipients.

The 2019 snapshot shows that once again minimum wage earners and people on government support struggle to find anything affordable to rent in Sydney or almost all regional NSW areas, while two homes in the Riverina and Orange regions were the only rental listings in Australia that a single person on Newstart could afford.
CHIA NSW Chair, John McKenna said the 2019 snapshot shows that despite lower house prices in parts of Sydney, many low income renters are worse off than they were 12 months ago.

“After 10 years of the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot the private rental market is still failing hundreds of thousands of households in Sydney and across NSW,” Mr McKenna said.

“Unfortunately investment in social and affordable housing has fallen a long way behind rent increases and population growth, which means many households struggling in the private market have nowhere else to go.

“Waiting lists for social housing alone are up to a decade long in almost every part of Sydney and the Illawarra.

“We also know there’s a shortfall of almost 140,000 social housing properties across the state right now, and we’ll need more than 300,000 social and affordable homes by 2036 to close the current gap and keep up with population growth.”Mr McKenna said community housing providers across NSW could start meeting that demand with the right planning reforms, financial support and a commitment from all levels of government.

“We need more affordable rental options for households struggling everywhere in our state, particularly people with a disability, aged pensioners, job seekers and families struggling to keep a roof over their heads on a minimum wage,” Mr McKenna said.

“We really need the State Government to develop a comprehensive Housing Strategy for the whole of NSW that spells out exactly when, where and how we can deliver the social and affordable housing our local communities need.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft 0423 377 965

Anglicare snapshot finds just two homes for Newstart recipients as industry renews calls for community housing

Good Growth collaboration unveiled – a sign of what’s possible in South-West Sydney

A concept for a South-West Sydney development that combines diverse housing, green space, access to a university and transport and community gardens will be unveiled today by the Good Growth Alliance – a coalition of peak industry bodies and NGO leaders in Sydney.

Prepared as a case study, the concept will be presented at the Good Growth Housing Conference today (Monday 15 April) in Sydney.

Working with city and community shaping experts, Urbis, the proposed hypothetical development – Converge at Macarthur – seeks to benefit all in the community, whilst exemplifying liveable, sustainable and inclusive growth, all set within a commercial and economic reality.

Converge at Macarthur is a demonstration of good growth at its best: a development that benefits all in the community, exemplifies liveable, sustainable and inclusive growth and is set within a commercial and economic reality.

The design includes a provision for 30% social and affordable housing; 7,000+ sqm open space, 1.3km walking/cycling trail, public plaza and community hub site, all on a site that is currently unusable for the community. The residential development will include opportunities across the housing spectrum for people of all ages and life stages.

The commercially viable development model is based on an 13ha case study site in Macarthur and includes collaboration from all levels of government. The site is nearby to Macarthur Square Shopping Centre, Western Sydney University Campbelltown Campus and TAFE NSW Campbelltown campus.

The design has been developed in consultation with all Alliance members: The Property Council of Australia, Committee for Sydney and the Sydney Business Chamber; Community Housing Industry Association of NSW, Homelessness NSW and Shelter NSW. Landcom also provided input to the design, and intend to draw on the outcomes of the collaboration for future consultation and inform future planning of the site.

Moreover, the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW are running affordability modelling to develop the proposal.

The Good Growth Alliance was established in 2018 as a partnership between organisations representing Sydney’s business sector alongside housing NGOs to promote the benefits of good growth. The Alliance advocates for a sustainable plan for growth in Sydney, based on transparent, consistent and evidence-based decision making by political parties, local government and planners.

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

Below: Current artist’s impression of Converge at Macarthur development

Quotes from:

“Good growth thrives on, and is a result of, collaboration, trust, transparency and a clear vision. Together with the Good Growth Alliance, Urbis is excited to demonstrate how a development can be responsive to community needs, well designed and commercially viable. We believe the learnings generated through this project can inspire the property industry, community housing providers, communities, peaks and all levels of
government to work together to shape cities and communities for a better future.”

Rachel Trigg, Community Planning Director, Urbis

“Keeping our communities diverse and liveable is beneficial to us all and Converge at Macarthur is proof that good growth is achievable when planned. Incorporating plans for affordable housing at the beginning of a project, rather than in retrospect, should be the norm. I look forward to working with policymakers at all levels of government to encourage the innovation that will ensure everyone, regardless of income, has a good home that they can afford.”

John McKenna, Chair, Community Housing Industry Association NSW

“Converge at Macarthur takes a piece of land that is vacant and unusable by the community and turns it into a design for a development that is a great place to live, has access to transport and contributes to the local area – it demonstrates the key principles of good placemaking and good growth. Now is the time for all levels of Government to have an open and honest conversation about how our city is growing, engage with industry and community, and get better planning outcomes.”

William Power, Acting NSW Executive Director, Property Council of Australia

“Growth can only be good if it stays true to its purpose and vision – to create communities that are inclusive, diverse and vibrant. We can and must change the conversation from the barriers and obstacles to the possibilities – how can we adapt, innovate and harness our collective talents to make our neighbourhoods work for everyone in our community.”

Karen Walsh, CEO of Shelter NSW

“Landcom were pleased to support the Good Growth Housing Conference which is why we put forward a site to be a case study. Although this was a hypothetical exercise it was clear that having all voices at the table made a great proposal. This will inform the actual planning of the site in consultation with the community in the next few years.”

Tasha Burrell, Executive General Manager Projects, Landcom

“This is a great initiative that brings together expertise from across Sydney to build a visionary, economical and sustainable development. As Sydney grows, The Committee supports this kind of development to establish new liveable, walkable and cohesive communities.”

James Hulme, Director of Advocacy, Committee for Sydney

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Industry calls for cross-cabinet approach to boosting affordable housing

Industry calls for cross-cabinet approach to boosting affordable housing

NSW’s not for profit community housing peak body, CHIA NSW, is urging new Ministers under the Berejiklian Government to prioritise building new social and affordable housing amid soaring rental stress across the state.

Premier Berejiklian’s new cabinet sees management of the housing sector split between two portfolios, with Melinda Pavey as Minister for Water, Property and Housing under the Planning and Industry cluster and Gareth Ward overseeing social housing as Minister for Family and Community Services under the Stronger Communities cluster.

CHIA NSW chair John McKenna has urged the NSW Government to develop a comprehensive evidence-based housing strategy to boost affordable housing supply and guide cross-portfolio collaboration.

“Housing that people can afford is essential infrastructure and including it in the Planning and Industry cluster is a promising shift for the new state government,” says Mr Mckenna. “A co- operative and fully-funded housing strategy between Minister Pavey and Minister Ward will serve as a critical link between clusters.”

“Minister Pavey’s new portfolio presents an opportunity to leverage more investment into Aboriginal housing and to deliver a better range of housing solutions for Aboriginal communities and low-income households across NSW.”

Recent modelling by the City Futures Research Centre found that Sydney needs almost 200,000 additional social and affordable homes by 2036.

And while the city remains the focus of housing debates, regional NSW fares little better, with over 117,000 additional social and affordable homes needed by 2036.

This will take years of sustained investment to fix, and Premier Berejiklian’s new government must start now with a plan to deliver the housing that NSW needs.

“CHIA NSW looks forward to working with the new state government and with Minister’s Pavey and Ward to ensure that everybody in NSW has a home they can afford.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft 0423 377 965

Industry calls for cross-cabinet approach to boosting affordable housing PDF