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Affordable housing delays hurting those most in need

Published on 09 October 2019

The City of Ryde’s efforts to increase affordable housing in the local community continues to face inexplicable delays, with an affordable housing planning proposal submitted over two years ago by Council still awaiting approval from the State Government.

The City of Ryde has committed to ensuring that five per cent of all new dwellings built in the local government area by 2031 will be affordable housing for key worker households on very low to moderate incomes. 

As a way to help meet the target, the City of Ryde submitted a planning proposal to the State Government in September 2017 for the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the Ryde Local Environmental Plan. 

The planning proposal would require developers to include affordable housing within residential developments either through specified floor space or a monetary contribution. 

The requirement is known as inclusionary zoning and would effectively ensure developers contributed to affordable housing in a consistent manner. 

But now over two years since the planning proposal was submitted, the NSW Government has still yet to grant approval to place the planning proposal on exhibition and take it to the next stage in the planning process. 

City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, said the extended delay was unacceptable.

“We have an emerging crisis with housing affordability in the City of Ryde with more than 10,000 key workers expected to be living in housing stress by 2031,” Clr Laxale said.

“Given this, you have to ask why this State Government is sitting on its hands and continuing to hold up the implementation of real reforms which will help provide housing to those who need it most.

“The only winners from this delay are developers. Instead of providing a much needed community asset, they’re pocketing extra profits.

“Two years is long enough. It’s time to help the most vulnerable in our community. The City of Ryde is genuine about housing affordability and we are seeking urgent approval of our planning proposal so that we can help tackle housing affordability in Ryde.”

The Greater Sydney Commission’s Metropolis of Three Cities report states that affordable housing targets generally in the range of five to ten per cent are viable within Greater Sydney. 

Under Council’s planning proposal, developers would be required to contribute two per cent of the total floor area to affordable housing for developments in medium and high density zones as well as town centres. 

That figure increases to seven per cent for developments that result in a change in the zoning of the land. 

Timeline

26 August 2014 – City of Ryde resolves to organise an Affordable Housing Summit for the City of Ryde 

6 November 2014 – Affordable Housing Summit is held which determines that an Affordable Housing Policy needs to be developed for the City of Ryde

12 May 2015 – City of Ryde endorses the findings of the Affordable Housing Summit and resolves to prepare a Ryde Affordable Housing Policy to guide and facilitate the delivery of affordable housing in the City of Ryde 

23 November 2015 – The ‘Draft City of Ryde Affordable Housing Policy 2016 – 2031’ is placed on public exhibition 

5 February 2016 – The public exhibition period for the ‘Draft City of Ryde Affordable Housing Policy 2016 – 2031’ closes

12 April 2016 – City of Ryde adopts the ‘City of Ryde Affordable Housing Policy 2016 – 2031’

22 August 2017 – City of Ryde resolves to prepare a Planning Proposal for the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the Ryde Local Environmental Plan and forward it to the Minister for Planning with a request for a gateway determination 

12 September 2017 – City of Ryde submits Planning Proposal to the Minister for Planning with a request for a gateway determination

9 October 2019 – State Government still yet to grant approval to place the Planning Proposal on public exhibition

Last updated on 9 October 2019