UDIA NSW calls for investment in enabling infrastructure to address Regional Housing Crisis

UDIA congratulates the Regional Housing Taskforce on identifying the challenges for housing in NSW regional markets, and on producing a solid set of five recommendations and fifteen actions that will support much-needed supply across all housing types in the regions.

The regions are facing similar housing challenges to Sydney – including low supply, and higher costs with house prices having risen in the regions by 48% over the past two years vs. 32% in Sydney during the same period.

UDIA has been advocating for State government intervention focused on building a sustainable supply pipeline of ‘Development Ready’ land that is zoned, fully serviced and with biodiversity arrangements in place. Each of the key recommendations are aligned with UDIA’s research and experience on the ground in our regional Chapters and recognise the growing housing stress in the regions, where demand has been outstripping supply for many years.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build durable, development-ready supply pipelines that can meet demand, produce a more balanced housing market and make home ownership more affordable. Zoned land will not deliver housing unless it has the right infrastructure water, sewer, power and roads, together with biodiversity approvals and there is often a missing piece which delays development and should be the focus to unlocking supply,” said Steve Mann, CEO, UDIA NSW.

UDIA calls on government to quickly implement the Taskforce’s recommendations to ensure adequate and affordable supply of housing in the regions, through:

  1. Establishing enhanced UDP Committees and better cross-government coordination to support development-ready land and effectively plan for adequate housing supply;
  2. Accelerating housing delivery by creating a $1bn fund to be invested over three years (like the Housing Acceleration Fund) to build enabling infrastructure, with proportional allocation to each region;
  3. Creating a sustainable housing pipeline by accelerating approval of current proposals and encouraging more housing diversity.

“We are pleased that the Taskforce recommends a strong role for Urban Development Program (UDP) Committees in each key region, to improve alignment across government and industry to support the delivery of new housing. The most important factor in achieving the outcomes sought through the Regional Housing Taskforce findings and recommendations will be the step-change needed to bring real coordination across government, coupled with investments to support new housing in the regions and the timing of the implementation of these recommendations.” said Steve Mann, CEO.

UDIA’s Building Blocks 2021 research reports outline where the enabling infrastructure needs to be delivered in key regional markets including the Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra Shoalhaven with a total $879 million needed and provides a foundation for the UDP Committees’ work.

Development-ready land must also have all environmental assessments and biodiversity offsets agreed. We are quickly running out of housing supply in key regional markets because of the biodiversity regulatory system. We welcome the Taskforce’s recognition that biodiversity is a major constraint on regional housing and is an important component in considering “development-ready” land supply. UDIA is working with government on several initiatives to improve the biodiversity system by reducing complexity and increasing certainty, which are aimed at increasing housing supply, while also protecting the environment.

UDIA is pleased to see the Regional Housing Taskforce’s acknowledgement of the need for reforms to infrastructure contributions and implementing complementary initiatives to sequence and prioritise infrastructure contributions plans, targeted grant programs and low-cost loan schemes.

We look forward to working with NSW Government to implement the Regional Housing Taskforce recommendations.

ENDS

Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or dlane@udiansw.com.au.
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