THE NSW Government will spend more than $720 million over the next four years to address the key issue of housing affordability, according to Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts, who described the increase in the supply and affordability of housing as a key priority for the government.
"We are working on many fronts to make owning a home a reality for more people, by streamlining and simplifying the planning system so housing approvals can be fast-tracked and are continuing to release and rezone more land," Mr Roberts said in a statement last week.
The 2017-18 NSW Budget includes $117.8 million over four years of new investment to deliver infrastructure, housing and employment initiatives, review land use and infrastructure strategies for priority growth areas and implement regional plans.
According to Mr Roberts, the initiatives and strategies include:
- Expand Priority Precincts and Priority Growth Areas to deliver around 30,000 additional dwellings;
- Develop framework plans for priority precincts and growth areas;
- Review and develop proposals to update planning legislation;
- Implement the State Environmental Planning Policy review;
- Develop a framework for applying statutory strategic planning to non-metropolitan areas;
- Develop more effective conditions of consent that are better integrated with environmental protection and other licences;
- Develop a strategic policy framework for social and affordable housing in key locations;
- Develop and implement Windfarm Assessment Guidelines and Social Impact Guidelines; and
- Develop a framework for managing land use conflicts in regional areas.
Mr Roberts said that reforms to financial contributions by developers towards new developments would further support the provision of local infrastructure and speed up the delivery of housing.
Other Budget initiatives include:
- $14.4 million ($40 million over four years) of new investment to address housing affordability; and
- $12.5 million ($70.6 million over four years) of new spending to accelerate major project assessments; support Joint Regional and Sydney Planning Panels operations across NSW; deliver high quality, timely assessments and post-approval activities for major projects; improve environmental impact assessment; support planning system mergers across local government and drive regional growth and improve environmental outcomes.
"This Government is committed to making housing in NSW more affordable for everyone and this is a responsible and well-targeted budget that will do just that," Mr Roberts said.