NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing Jenny Leong MP welcomes long overdue attention to inclusionary zoning as a means to address the housing affordability crisis in Sydney. However she warns that scrutiny is needed to ensure that it is not used as an excuse to give developers free reign on density, with no consideration of community needs.
“Requiring a percentage of affordable dwellings to be part of any new significant development is an important part of the puzzle when it comes to addressing the housing affordability crisis” she says.
While reports that the Greater Sydney Commission want to see percentage targets set for affordable housing, 5-10% does not go far enough - they need to be much more ambitious. The NSW Federation of Housing Associations has called for a 30% target, which would come a lot closer to addressing the desperate need for affordable housing across Sydney.
“It's also crucial that the conversation doesn't just stop at supply and affordability. Or worse that affordability is used as a cover for excessive density.
“We need to ensure our cities are liveable. Increased density puts increased demand on services like transport, health and education - and that needs to be factored in to our urban planning.
“Residents have already raised serious concerns with Urban Growth's plans along the Central to Eveleigh corridor, around excessive heights of residential towers and the failure to commit to any new schools, healthcare centres or other social service facilities. Affordable housing targets can’t be used as an excuse to pile more apartments in," she said.
The Greens have been strong advocates for inclusionary zoning as part of a comprehensive policy platform to address the housing affordability crisis. In March 2016 the Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP raised the issue of affordable housing in the redevelopment and sell-off of government land, particularly the Central to Eveleigh corridor, with the Planning Minister. In a joint submission to the UrbanGrowth Parramatta Road plan, Ms Leong and the Member for Balmain Jamie Parker MP, called for a 30% minimum on affordable housing targets through inclusionary zoning.