Media Release
Calls for ambitious density around stations to secure ambitious affordable housing targets
28 November, 2023

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Matt Levinson

The Housing NOW! coalition of essential worker unions, universities and business groups is urging government to set ambitious density targets around train stations to support delivery of affordable housing.

New modelling released today shows rezoning the precincts around key Metro stations to deliver three to four times the housing in these precincts would pay for the delivery of 15-20% affordable housing in perpetuity.

The calls for ambition are being supported by a group that includes the Health Services Union (HSU), Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Sydney YIMBY, Business NSW and Committee for Sydney.

Gerard Hayes, HSU Secretary: “Delivering affordable housing for health workers is no longer a nice idea – it’s critical. Health workers travelling 4 hours a day because they can’t afford to live where they work is bad for workers and bad for patients.

“If we don’t act now, the consequences for our communities are huge.”

Eamon Waterford, CEO of the Committee for Sydney: “Our analysis shows this is the sweet spot – 3-4 times the density means up to 1 in every 5 homes can be set aside for essential workers.

“We have a shared responsibility to help deliver housing so people can afford to live in Sydney. This is especially the case for the teachers, health workers, police, hospitality workers and cleaners who keep our cities working, so they can find suitable housing near to where they work.

“A typical hospitality worker would have to spend 79% of their income to rent a typical apartment in Burwood. It’s clear we need to increase the amount of affordable housing in our city if key workers are going to be able to keep living here.

“While this will mean significantly higher density in these locations, where this is done well it means creating incredible places where people from all walks of life have access everything they need.

“What’s good about this data is it shows we can deliver on that, and make it stack up financially. Critically, this is without subsidy from the NSW Government – when taking government land into consideration, we could deliver even more.”

David Borger, Chair of Housing NOW! and Executive Director of Business Western Sydney: “We have a housing crisis on our hands. The NSW Government must be ambitious with its affordable housing targets if essential workers are going to have any hope of putting a roof over their heads anywhere near the jobs we need them to do to keep our city running. 

“We’ve only got one shot to get the housing right around transport interchanges when we change the zoning. We need to make sure. through a strong affordable housing target, that we are providing housing for essential workers, or we are going to be in trouble.