Support For Council Affordable Housing Levies
The announcement by NSW Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, that five Sydney councils can potentially utilise SEPP 70 to raise funds for affordable housing requires more detail, says the Urban Taskforce.
“The Minister for Planning & Housing seems to have opened the gate to five Sydney council’s to levy whatever they like on new housing developments for affordable housing,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “The Inner West Council, for example, has been supported by the Minister to utilise State Environmental Planning Policy 70 to raise funds for affordable housing but there appears to be no concern from the Minister regarding the extent of levy to be raised. At its meeting on 21 November 2017, the Inner West Council decided previous affordable housing proposals for a 15 percent levy were insufficient and that a 30 percent levy should be applied to all new housing stock in new developments for affordable housing.”
“If excessive levies by well-meaning councils are applied to new housing development across Sydney it will have the effect of slowing housing supply down dramatically. If a housing project must provide 30 percent of its apartments to the local council then the price of the other 70 percent will need to go up dramatically.”
“The Minister in his media release clearly supports the inclusionary zoning approach to be extended to Randwick City Council, Inner West Council, Northern Beaches Council, the City of Ryde Council and the City of Canada Bay Council. With state government support for affordable housing levies to these five councils, it will be inevitable that every Sydney council will now want to be part of the action.”
“The Minister’s approach seems to be very different to the Greater Sydney Commission’s approach to affordable housing which suggests that a 5 to 10 percent levy could be applied only on uplift where sites are rezoned, only in specific locations and only where economically viable.”
“The Urban Taskforce is concerned at the mixed messages on affordable housing policies coming from the NSW Government. We are keen to work with the NSW Government to ensure that affordable housing is an economically viable part of housing supply.”