Housing has become unaffordable for many people living all over Sydney.
I was happy to speak recently on behalf of the NSW Greens at the large community affordable housing forum, "We All Need a Home" in Parramatta which was presented by a group of community advocacy organisations.
The panel of local, state and federal politicians and housing experts heard from local residents about how hard it is to make ends meet when the rents are so high and the lack of security of tenure means people are forced to move regularly, adding large additional costs and dislocation them from their community.
We know that a very large percentage of people living in Parramatta are renting - over 6,000 according to the Census which is 68% of residents. The mean unit rent is about $500 per week and house prices have skyrocketed with the mean sales price for a home now over $900,000. These statistics mean that housing is just simply unaffordable for a significantly large proportion of people in Parramatta.
The Greens are committed working with community groups to push housing reforms in the NSW parliament which include giving all councils in NSW the right to prepare affordable housing contribution schemes for specific precincts, areas or developments within their local government areas. Inclusionary zoning is an crucial step to actually providing affordable homes and not just facilitating the construction of investment properties.
We will also keep advocating for key reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act including the call to abolish no grounds evictions as well as changing state legislation so that annual rent rises are pegged to the CPI.
While we have seen some positive changes to renters rights this year as a result of our lobbying and that of many peak housing groups, there's still plenty more to be done.