One-size-fits all design policy will worsen housing affordability

The Property Council of Australia is disappointed the draft Design & Place SEPP has been placed on public exhibition today with the policy set to have a detrimental impact on housing investment, affordability and job creation.

Property Council’s NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the SEPP throws more uncertainty into the planning mix and provides every excuse for panels to not approve further housing build.

“Whilst well intentioned, the SEPP as exhibited is unworkable and inadequate consideration has been given to the impact upon viability of new housing for current and future generations - this has significant consequences for families in NSW wanting to buy their first home,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“Specifically, the rigid application of vaguely defined principles will simply lead to well-designed projects sitting in a queue.

“Every day Australians are being priced out of auctions each Saturday should rightly ponder why councils now have additional scope to veto new housing builds at a time when only one of 35 local councils in Greater Sydney are on track to meet their housing targets, set by the government.

“Make no mistake: the NSW Government’s own economic modelling released today confirms this policy will undermine the feasibility of new housing investment in Greater Sydney.

“No details around holding costs, increasing building material costs, administrative burden and other aspects of feasibility have been provided.”

Mr Achterstraat said the SEPP would reduce quality housing options for buyers and aspirants.

“The property industry has, and is, investing significantly to support the aims and objectives stated by the government – we want to see good design actualised and vibrant communities made available,” he said.

“The Premier has rightly pledged housing affordability to the top of the list but imposing further costs and process delays in an already complex system only raises the price tag for first home buyers.

“We remain ready and willing to work with the NSW Government to address housing affordability so that fewer people in NSW see their dream of owning a home slip through their fingers due to escalating house prices and a lack of supply.

“The exhibition of the SEPP represents a step in the wrong direction for the twin engines - of boosting supply and planning reform - that the state government oversees to address housing affordability.”

Media:  Aidan Green | [email protected]