Regional Housing Matters – Newcastle, Shoalhaven, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens

All of the following LGAs occur high-up on our radar as regional LGAs of housing need.


The City of Newcastle and NSW Government have placed on exhibition the Broadmeadow Place Strategy and State-led rezoning of the regionally significant growth precinct in the Hunter region. Submissions close Wednesday, 24 July 2024.

This site is strategically very important; huge tracts of land in the precinct are publicly owned and therefore we would expect to see a significant dent being made in the social housing waitlist, as the precinct housing yield will be 20,000 over the next 30 years.

Aerial view of Hunter Park, part of the Broadmeadow regionally significant growth precinct

There is some indication in the Broadmeadow Place Strategy that government-owned land will deliver a minimum of 30% affordable housing, but it is not clear that this will explicitly include social housing. Similarly, the Explanation of Intended Effect accompanying the State-led rezoning does not make reference to ‘social housing’, only affordable housing to be owned and managed by registered CHPs.


Shoalhaven City Council has placed its draft Affordable Housing Strategy and associated Research Papers (including one on “short term rental accommodation”) on exhibition as of yesterday, with submissions open until Friday, 12 July 2024.

Stock photo of Nowra township

Simultaneously, Shoalhaven City Council is exhibiting its Property Sales Program for selling off Council land. We are curious to know if/how these two projects have influenced each other.

Coffs Harbour

Previously, we have pushed back against the former ‘Communities Plus’ model of renewal for the Argyll Estate in Coffs Harbour and we have been working with Homes NSW on a more collaborative and community-led approach to delivering more and better social housing in the locality. Things look to be moving in the right direction.
Sadly, at the same time, it appears that Coffs Harbour City Council has stalled in its commitment to creating an Affordable Housing Strategy. We were highly engaged in the exhibition phase of the draft Strategy and acknowledged the significant work by Judith Stubbs & Associates that underpinned the Strategy. It’s a real shame that the Strategy was not adopted at the March 2024 Council meeting; this decision delays critical work in ensuring Coffs Harbour has a strategy for methodically increasing its share of Affordable and diverse housing.   

Port Stephens
Council recently placed its revised Local Housing Strategy on exhibition (which we commented on). Through this process, we became aware of the real drive at Council to engage constructively with Homes NSW and Hume Housing to create a thoughtful masterplan for public housing renewal in Raymond Terrace.