In Labor’s first NSW State Budget since 2010, the government earmarked $2.2 billion for housing, primarily focusing on long-term infrastructure investments to increase housing supply, a move welcomed by the Property Council.
Treasurer Daniel Mookhey emphasised that housing affordability and accessibility represent significant challenges for residents of NSW.
A $2.2 billion Housing and Infrastructure Plan was announced at the budget and encompasses several key components.
Firstly, $300 million will be reinvested in Landcom to expedite the construction of thousands of new homes, allocating 30 per cent of these residences to be designated as affordable housing.
Additionally, $400 million is set aside in Restart NSW to facilitate essential infrastructure projects that will, in turn, facilitate housing developments throughout the state.
Lastly, a commitment of $1.5 billion is earmarked for housing-related infrastructure through the Housing and Productivity Contribution, underlining the government’s dedication to addressing housing challenges and promoting productivity.
And new build-to-rent trials will be supported on the South Coast and in the Northern Rivers with $60 million.
Property Council NSW Executive Director Katie Stevenson welcomed the NSW Government’s well targeted $3.1 billion housing and planning investment package and was pleased to be able to discuss the Budget with Minister Scully directly earlier this afternoon.
“Treasurer Mookhey’s Budget sets the foundations for the NSW Government to tackle the state’s housing supply and affordability crisis,’ Ms Stevenson said.
“We welcome the focus on leveraging government land and delivering housing to those in greatest need in our communities.
“Landcom and LAHC are major beneficiaries in this Budget, resourcing them to upscale the delivery of affordable and social homes across the state, including in our regions.
“Industry will be pleased to see a focus on improving planning system efficiency through the Faster Planning Program, including assessing housing supply opportunities across government-owned sites and $5.6 million for an Artificial Intelligence pilot to deliver planning system efficiency.
“Increased funding for social and affordable housing and investigating the use of Artificial Intelligence to make the planning system more efficient were key reform asks from our recent Housing Outcomes report, so we particularly welcome their inclusion as part of the Government’s first Budget.
“There is an enormous difference between land that is simply rezoned and land that is ‘development ready’ – the missing ingredient is enabling infrastructure such as water, roads and transport.”
Ms Stevenson said she was pleased to see $2.2 billion allocated specifically for infrastructure to enable the new housing to be delivered.
“It is also welcome news that the NSW Government has largely stayed the course on its infrastructure investment program, with $116.5 billion allocated over the next four years, providing important certainty to industry and communities,” she said.
“On average, NSW Government will spend $29.1 billion across the four-year budget cycle on infrastructure, which will likely test the ongoing capacity of the civil infrastructure market, requiring a laser like focus on delivery to ensure the residential construction market is not squeezed out.
“While the focus on housing and infrastructure is welcomed, industry will be disappointed that the NSW Government has not delivered a funding boost for CBD activation in this Budget.
“Our cities are the major economic engines of our state, and while the $26 million investment in expanding the work of the Office of the 24 hour Economy Commissioner is welcome, a large-scale funded program to turbocharge CBD revitalisation is needed.”