More Affordable Housing in the Inner City

At Council on Monday night I tabled a Lord Mayoral Minute highlighting recent projects which will significantly increase much needed supply of affordable housing in the inner city.

Housing affordability is a key issue in Sydney. We need people on different income levels to be able to afford to live here.

This is especially true of our essential workers - people who keep the city functioning such as nurses, cleaners, police, teachers, baristas, hotel workers, firefighters and retail assistants, they all should be able to live close to where they work.

The City has an ambitious target under Sustainable Sydney 2030 for 7.5 per cent of all housing in the City to be social housing and 7.5 per cent to be affordable housing. To meet our target almost 8,000 affordable housing and 650 social housing dwellings need to be built in the City by 2030.

Funding for 1,035 affordable rental dwellings in the City of Sydney local government area has been awarded by the Federal Government under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). This includes 828 dwellings at Frasers Broadway, dwellings in the Pemulway Project in Redfern by the Aboriginal Housing Company and properties in Darlinghurst, Glebe and Zetland.

High demand for rental properties and continuing rental rises are making it increasingly difficult to attract and retain essential workers in inner city areas.

The City of Sydney has adopted an Affordable Rental Housing Strategy to help provide 3,000 new affordable housing dwellings and our actions to date have contributed to over 900 new affordable dwellings that have been, or will be, built in the City.

Another important aspect is the role student accommodation and boarding houses play in alleviating demands on affordable housing stock.

Purpose built student accommodation and boarding houses provide another low cost housing option and the City continues to work with student housing providers to encourage well designed student accommodation.

Since 2009 we have approved around 677 student rooms. In addition, 720 student rooms have been developed by the University of Technology Sydney on their Harris Street site under the State Government's major projects legislation.

The State Government is also working to address housing affordability and recently established an Affordable Housing Taskforce to investigate planning mechanisms and tools, local area strategies and specialist housing.

A review of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure is currently underway.

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