- NSW Government has accepted all 15 recommendations of the Regional Housing Taskforce.
- Regional Councils can share in $12 million over 4 years to help them plan for housing that is affordable, diverse, and resilient to natural hazards.
- The measures include more homes for key workers, accelerating development assessments, and identifying options to use Government land for more social and affordable housing.
Regional Housing taskforce recommendations
Regional NSW is in high demand for housing, but the regions are demanding support from the Government to achieve regional housing affordability and support their growing communities.
The NSW Government has accepted all 15 recommendations by the Regional Housing Taskforce. The key recommendations were:
- Support measures that bring forward a supply of ‘development ready’ land.
- Increase the availability of affordable and diverse housing across regional NSW.
- Provide more certainty about where, when and what types of homes will be built.
- Investigate planning levers to facilitate the delivery of housing that meets short-term needs.
- Improve monitoring of housing and policy outcomes and demand indicators.
NSW Housing Strategy for Regional Communities
To achieve these recommendations and the 15 detailed recommendations the NSW Government has set out the policies and funding as follows:
- Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund – $12 million over 4 years to Councils in the Hunter, Central Coast, The Illawarra Shoalhaven, and the rest of regional NSW. The funding of up to $250,000 is provided to assist in delivering strategic plans, housing policies and technical studies that will produce opportunities for new homes that are needed to support growing communities.
- Urban Development Programs – funding to expand urban development programs into high-growth regional areas such e Central Coast, the Upper Hunter and Mid-Coast (Dungog, MidCoast, Muswellbrook, Singleton, and Upper Hunter LGAs), and the Capital region (Goulburn, Queanbeyan-Palerang, and Yass LGAs). In expanding the Urban Development Programs, the NSW Government is working to establish a consistent Housing Pipeline Assessment methodology with the goal to audit the amount of development ready land in NSW. Development ready land means land that is free of constraints to development in the short term, and identify infrastructure gaps, environmental constraints, and other barriers to development.
- Accelerated Infrastructure Fund – funding of up to $120 million to assist in the accelerated delivery of infrastructure to enable new houses, such as water, sewerage, electricity, roads, stormwater and fantastic public open spaces.
- Homes for Key Workers – $174 million has been allocated to assist in the delivery of more than 270 homes for key workers that are needed in the regions such as teachers, nurses and police.
- Roadblocks in the Planning system – Councils are being supported through funding of $162.6 million to address uncertainty and blockages in the planning system and unlock more housing sooner through faster planning assessments, accelerated rezoning of key housing precincts and council-led rezonings in Sydney and the regions through a ‘call-in’ team.
- Faster Local Assessment Grant program – grants of up to $350,000 will be available to eligible regional and metro Councils. The purpose of the grants is to improve assessment timeframes through resource support and process improvements These grants will be provided to Councils that have not previously received department assistance.
- Planning forward – Existing and new platforms for monitoring housing demand and supply will be updated and established through the Housing Evidence Centre, Regional Housing Dashboard and Regional Housing Supply Monitor. These tools will allow the Government, private developers, and the not-for-profit sector to ensure the delivery of new housing that meets community needs. Further, the Government will establish housing supply benchmarks and targets for high-growth regional areas. These targets include diverse and affordable housing, to ensure that new homes meet regional housing market
More information on the Government’s response to the recommendations of the NSW Regional Housing Taskforce is available here.
Local Council eligibility: Regional Housing Fund
Consider what support and funding is relevant to your Council area and seek funding opportunities to support and grow your LGA.
Councils have until 30 September 2022 to submit their applications for the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund, more information can be found here.
Coutts looks forward to supporting your LGA as you secure funding and grow your opportunities and your communities.
This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.