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NSW government slammed for policy inaction on housing affordability

NSW government slammed for policy inaction on housing affordability

“Sound bites and slanging matches” won’t ease housing prices, an industry body has said in a scathing attack on the NSW government’s policy agenda.

The Property Council has urged the NSW government to “focus on their own backyard” and introduce new tax reforms that will improve housing affordability.  

Property Council deputy executive director Cheryl Thomas has called for the state government to reduce local taxes and improve planning efficiency.

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“We have an opportunity in NSW to put downward pressure on home prices though the reduction of local taxes and charges on housing and improving our lethargic planning system – the government must focus on these elements as they will have the greatest impact on the price of a home,” Ms Thomas said.

“Sound bites and slanging matches will not bring down house prices and good policy that can have the greatest impact must always be the focus of the NSW government.”

Ms Thomas noted that the government’s existing policy agenda is not adequate enough to deal with future constraints on the NSW housing market.  

“The NSW government’s Housing Affordability Plan, the Greater Sydney Commission’s important strategic planning work and reforms to the planning system including Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) have been important to begin to put downward pressure on prices, and 2018 is a year when we must see more.

“We know that we need at least 725,000 homes by 2036 and Property Council research has found that up to 85 per cent of potential new homes are lost in the planning system – our full focus must be on boosting supply and bring down charges and taxes on housing, that is where we will see real outcomes and benefits for the community,” the deputy executive director added.

The Property Council executive also called for the NSW government to disengage with the “tug of war” of federal politics, and instead  focus on state-based policy solutions.

“Premier Berejiklian and the NSW government must not lose their focus and become intertwined with the tug-of-war of Federal politics; housing is too important to continue to let prices rise and financial pressure increase for people across our state and our state government’s focus should always be on State policies that have the greatest impact for the people of NSW,” Ms Thomas concluded.

[Related: Confidence in NSW property market drops]

NSW government slammed for policy inaction on housing affordability
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