100 days – priorities for Shelter NSW

With the election behind us, our focus turns to implementation of commitments already given and securing more. Our state election platform has become our 2023-2027 priorities.

As the new Ministers settle into their new roles and look under the bonnet of their portfolios, we’ll be advocating on a number of fronts – many of which could be advanced in a 100-day Plan.
These include:

  • Expand Youth Foyers in Western Sydney and Regional NSW. Our 2021 research convinced us of the power of the Youth Foyer Model and supports calls by The Foyer Foundation for their expansion. NSW is at risk of being left behind with the Victorian Government’s announcement of two new foyers for Wangaratta and Wodonga and Tasmanian Government’s recent commitment to five new youth foyers.
  • Support local government trying to strike the right balance between housing for locals (including workers) and tourists (refer Shelter NSW’s ongoing support of Councils like Bryon Bay Shire).
  • Set up a specialist older person’s housing information and support service that comprises an early intervention and crisis response (similar to Housing Victoria‘s Home at Last).
  • Adopt disability access standards for all new dwellings – the Silver Level Liveable Housing Design Standards (aligned with National Construction Code) like other states.
  • Confirm which NSW Minister will be responsible for Affordable Rental Housing and provide immediate relief to Councils currently wrestling with existing NSW Government approval paths and difficult viability testing tools.
  • Appoint the Rental Commissioner and task that office with improving rental rate increase mechanisms.
  • Greater Cities Commission – while recalibrating housing targets, also provide targets for social and affordable housing.
  • $30M Build-to-Rent pilot on NSW South Coast – confirm to what extent this will deliver ‘affordable housing’ (as BTR is a private market product).
  • Kill the Communities Plus public housing estate redevelopment model once and for all!

With a large number of active proposals for the redevelopment of public housing dwellings and estates in Sydney’s inner city, we join others in being ‘hopeful but trepidatious’ as this City Hub article describes. Our CEO was pleased to be quoted in this article.

Check out our Top 5 actions for the incoming government as they review these proposals:
  1. Retain valuable land in public hands (don’t sell it).
  2. Protect, expand and improve the current stock of public housing (renovate don’t detonate).
  3. Protect and support the thousands of public housing tenants currently living there (be a great landlord NSW Government).
  4. Ensure long-standing local Aboriginal communities are able to remain.
  5. Create an exemplar community – a great place to live regardless of your income, age, physical ability or cultural heritage.