Media Release
Three actions to address Sydney’s housing affordability crisis
14 December, 2022

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Matt Levinson

A new report from urban policy think tank Committee for Sydney puts forward three key actions to break the impasse on building much needed affordable housing.

The new report, Bringing Housing Affordability to Scale, with Capella Capital and stemming from workshops with community housing providers, super funds and others, makes three key recommendations:

  • Create an adequate source of funding to deliver more affordable housing
  • Reform the planning system to expedite affordable housing projects
  • Scale up the not-for-profit community housing providers, which cycle profits back into more housing.

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney, said:

“There’s no debate on the need – everyone agrees housing affordability is Sydney’s greatest immediate threat.

“For all the agreement, Sydney’s still being held back by a dire shortage of social and affordable housing. It’s a threat to the idea of a fair go and a major handbrake on economic activity.

“There’s no question, affordable housing projects are taking substantially longer to deliver in NSW than other states, and that means the projects end up costing more and providing less housing than they could.

“Broader housing supply is important, but no matter how much supply we provide people won’t accept the value of their homes going backwards – we need permanently affordable housing as well.

“We need to do everything we can to turn the housing affordability crisis around, and significantly scaling up the supply of below market rate housing is key.”

Daniel Khong, Director of Capella Capital, said:

“The critical issue is providing certainty of  long term funding and a pipeline of large scale projects to attract institutional capital.

“In this regard, the recent announcement of the Housing Australia Future Fund and the Housing Accord between Commonwealth and states is generating excitement in the sector.

“The report highlights lots of opportunities for NSW to consider how to improve the system and scale up the production of affordable housing, whether that’s in planning, procurement, investment barriers or funding. Rapidly increasing supply is our key challenge.

“We’ve looked around the world for the best examples of housing affordability being addressed, whether it’s the UK’s great housing associations or closer to home in Brisbane and Melbourne, and held workshops with people working at all stages of the affordable housing system here in NSW.

“The clear conclusion of this report is we need to fund projects adequately, reform the planning system to expedite delivery of affordable housing projects, and support the community housing sector to be strong enough to deliver them.

“There’s no way to get around it, and there’s no magic bullet. Without taking this kind of strategic action, there’s no way to create enough subsidised housing to meet our most urgent challenge.”

Read the Bringing Affordable Housing to Scale report here: