The delivery of housing to first homebuyers, renters, key workers and the disadvantaged poses a significant issue across the state of NSW. or local government there are currently very few meaningful ways to respond to this challenge to deliver both housing that is affordable relative to household incomes and financially assisted 'affordable housing'.
The social dislocation and economic disadvantage caused by the inability to deliver housing of the form and price of that required by key parts of our communities is likely to continue to worsen unless meaningful and urgent measures are not taken. The net migration out of an area for 18-34 year olds, leaving family, friends and networks, to move to areas of a lower price point and areas with strong job opportunities and an affordable rental market in continuing. Similarly, many cannot afford to live in the community they work, leading to longer commutes, congestion, lost productivity, and social impacts on families and relationships.
The United States cities also face these issues and are addressing housing affordability and affordable housing through a number of levers created at a local, state and federal government level including the provision of tax incentives for corporations to assist in affordable housing projects, affordable housing targets, inclusionary zoning, and increased diversity of housing products (e.g. decoupling car parking requirements).
David Rosen, a recognised authority in the field of US affordable housing finance shared his thoughts on how these levers may apply to the Australian context.