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The Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) has called on the Iemma Government to establish affordable housing targets for all Sydney planning regions by June 2006, following yesterday’s release of City of Cities, A plan for Sydney’s Future. NCOSS Media Release.

“We cautiously welcome the big picture approach to employment, housing, transport and the environment, that this Metropolitan Strategy emphasises,” said NCOSS Director, Gary Moore.

“NCOSS supports the aim of locating 60% -70% of new dwellings and roughly the same proportion of new jobs in existing centres and corridors across the metropolitan area.”

“But we know that unless the NSW Government is prepared to require that at least 30% of the new housing in these areas is made available for the bottom end of home purchasers, the majority of private renters and new social housing tenants, Sydney will become an even less fair place to live over the next 25 years.”

“To his credit, the Premier has established a high level Affordable Housing Committee and has stated in City of Cities that various planning mechanisms will now be examined to achieve affordable housing results.” 

“If he has the political will, then affordable housing targets can be worked out and sit alongside the employment targets already set in the document. And his Committee can identify genuine options to finance affordable housing when it reports in June 2006.” 

“This will be critical if targets like 95,000 new dwellings and 35,000 new jobs for the Bankstown, Fairfield, Holroyd, Auburn and Parramatta corridor are to be reached.”

“Whilst City of Cities recognises the key need to provide enough housing for an ageing population and people with disabilities, it does not lay out detailed options for achieving a successful supply of adaptable housing in the future.”

“Similarly, the document notes the importance of having enough capital and recurrent spending for new health, education, child care and other community facilities to match the population growth in both existing centres and suburbs and Greenfield sites.”

“However, it proposes no specific measures to guarantee the funds (especially for the operation of new health centres, pre schools etc), leaving it to the vagaries of the annual State Budget process.”

“And whilst the Government has placed job creation as a high priority in this Metropolitan Strategy, it has done little as yet to align the needs of the unemployed and under employed with the locations and types of jobs that will need to be generated.”

Media Contact:  Gary Moore, Director, NCOSS