Alternative Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects

10/12/2018 - Alternative Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects

Moved by Councillor Thalis, seconded by Councillor Scully –

It is resolved that:

(A)        Council note:

(i)          Sustainable Sydney 2030 set ambitious targets for public and affordable housing as a percentage of the city’s growing housing stock;

(ii)         since that time, the State Government has sold significant tranches of public housing, while building almost no new stock in the Sydney local government area;

(iii)        in the decade since Sustainable Sydney 2030 was adopted, the City has been able to increase the stock of affordable housing through targeted actions, including subsidised land sales to community housing providers, the Affordable and Diverse Housing Fund and inclusionary zoning in Green Square, Harold Park and elsewhere, to support community housing providers delivering affordable housing in the local government area. This includes the following work:

(a)        854 affordable housing dwellings have been built;

(b)        423 affordable housing dwellings have had applications lodged, approved or are currently under construction;

(c)         533 affordable housing dwellings are in the pipeline, being developments of which the City is aware, but have not yet reached development application stage;

(d)        1,925 affordable housing dwellings are projected under planning controls;

(e)        801 social housing dwellings have been built; and

(f)          42 diverse housing dwellings have been built;

(iv)       despite these initiatives, the City is still short of reaching our target of 7.5 per cent of all housing to be affordable housing by 2030;

(v)         the State Government's policy of supply and the market have failed to meet Sydney's current housing need;

(vi)       there has been low to no wage growth over the last decade, while housing costs have increased dramatically, leading to “housing stress” - which is defined as spending more than 30 per cent of income on housing, either on rent or mortgage;

(vii)      affordability is not just an issue for people on low incomes, but a growing issue for people on medium incomes who may not qualify for community housing, but who are priced out of market housing;

(viii)     there is a need for new strategies to provide alternative affordable housing, beyond the traditional categories of social, community, and market housing. This may include co-operatives, co-housing, Nightingale/Baugruppen and mutual housing models; and

(B)        the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)          research ways that the City can support seed projects for alternative affordable housing demonstration projects that demonstrate alternative models for financing, designing, building and managing housing that is affordable and environmentally and socially sustainable;

(ii)         investigate opportunities to pilot affordable and alternative affordable housing demonstration projects using alternative procurement strategies on a range of smaller sites, while retaining the land in the City’s long-term ownership;

(iii)        scope an ideas competition or call for expressions of interest for innovative schemes for such housing projects; and

(iv)       prioritise models that could be replicated across the local government area, and beyond, to enable a broader range of affordable housing procurement strategies.  

Carried unanimously.