Extending our levy City wide to provide more affordable housing

A proposal to extend the City of Sydney’s affordable housing levy across the entire local government area will open for public comment, following a review by the NSW Government.

The City’s current affordable housing levy only applies to new developments in Green Square, Pyrmont and the southern employment lands.

Since the original scheme was introduced, the levy has enabled 835 affordable homes to been built with another 586 approved for construction.

The proposal will open up opportunities for up to 3,600 affordable homes by 2030 across the city, enabling key workers such as teachers and nurses to live near their place of work and benefit from city services.

Under the extension proposal, all new major developments in the City of Sydney area would have to pay a levy of 1 per cent to 3 per cent depending on development type, with the funds going towards the delivery of much needed affordable housing.

In areas where the levy is new, the changes will be phased in until June 2022, allowing the property market time to adjust.

“Housing affordability is at a crisis point in inner Sydney – so this is a great win for low and middle income earners,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’ve been lobbying the state government for years to allow us to extend this levy across our city, because it is proven to create more affordable housing in our city.

“The extension of this levy, combined with our existing levies in Green Square, Ultimo and Pyrmont are expected to create more than 3,600 affordable homes by 2030 for key workers such as teachers, nurses, police and paramedics. It is vital that these workers are not priced out of the city.

“We adopted our Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan 10 years ago, with ambitious targets for 7.5 per cent social housing and 7.5 per cent affordable housing across the City of Sydney area.

“Extending the levy to all new developments in our area is an important step toward achieving those targets of 7.5 per cent social housing and 7.5 per cent affordable housing, but we need further action from all levels of government if we are to provide affordable housing to everyone who needs it.”

Newtown High School of Performing Arts English teacher Victor Zitser, his partner Melissa King and their son Zakari moved into an affordable housing apartment in Zetland in 2017. The building was constructed by City West Housing and funded by the City’s affordable housing levy.

“It’s quite difficult for teachers because we have no control over which school we are assigned to. Although I was really happy to be sent to Newtown Performing Arts, it did present the obvious challenge of expensive inner city housing,” Mr Zitser said.

“Having access to affordable housing has vastly improved our quality of life. I live within 30 minutes walking distance of school, which is very convenient when I work late.

“Many of my colleagues find it difficult to secure a home that is close to work and within their price range. With so many new schools to be built in the inner city over the next few years, affordable homes for teachers are greatly needed.

“Expanding the affordable housing scheme is excellent and will provide more equity for teachers and other key workers that need homes in the inner city.”

Source: City of Sydney

Image courtesy of City of Sydney