Sunday, June 23, 2024

LGNSW welcomes housing targets but warns devil is in the delivery

Local Government NSW says yesterday’s announcement of housing targets by the State Government provides much needed certainty for the sector, but expressed disappointment that councils had not been more involved in their co-design.

LGNSW President, Darriea Turley AM says LGNSW has long been calling for engagement on housing targets so that elected representatives and council staff can “get on with the job of planning for the future”.

She says questions remain around the monitoring of the housing targets, which have been released in the same week as a report from KPMG showed a growing ‘glut’ of dwellings approved but not completed due to rising costs of building materials, labour shortages and higher interest rates. Of these stalled approvals, 80% are higher density projects such as townhouses and apartments, said President Turley.

“Councils have an important role in addressing the housing crisis but they do not build houses,” she said.

“It makes no sense for councils to be marked against whether new homes are completed when this is beyond the control of local government”.

LGNSW President, Darriea Turley AM.

The imminent release of the housing targets and the issue of approved but not completed developments were hot topics of discussion at a roundtable on Wednesday morning that LGNSW hosted with Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully and the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson.

The Ministers were joined by around 150 Mayors, Councillors and General Managers from across the State for the discussions.

“It was a genuinely collaborative session with Mayors and GMs highlighting their concerns but also offering some constructive ideas and solutions to address particular issues and challenges,” President Turley said.

“We heard loud and clear from the Ministers that addressing the housing crisis is a collective action from all three spheres of government – we look forward to playing our part and working with the State and Federal Governments to get the housing solutions right.

“Communities need to be supported by critical local infrastructure such as roads, public transport, parks, public schools and hospitals.

“Local Government is best placed to know the challenges and the opportunities facing our communities and it’s integral that our voice continues to be heard in identifying those opportunities and in delivering solutions that are best for our communities,” she said.

Under Wednesday’s announcement, 43 councils across Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, Central Coast, Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle have been provided with individualised housing targets to be completed by 2029.

The rest of the state has been allocated 55,000 new homes, which aligns with expected demand and growth for new homes in those regional areas.

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