Affordability critical in Illawarra 

Housing affordability has been an issue of increasing prominence in the Illawarra over recent months as local house prices continue to rise. The recent appointment of a new Regional Director from the Department of Planning and the release of a housing affordability strategy from Shoalhaven Council is welcome news.

The Property Council commended the Shoalhaven City Council on its initiative to develop and adopt a strategy on affordable housing as a good first step to addressing affordable housing in the region.  The strategy was adopted at a council meeting on Monday 17 July and will now go on public exhibition for further comment.

The Shoalhaven area has experienced rapid growth in the price of housing due to lack of supply and increased demand and this has made the need for affordable housing more acute. We need an approach that both provides housing for those who need it most in the short to medium term and stimulates housing supply in the long term.

Importantly, Shoalhaven Council is looking at how to incentivise rather than penalise in addressing this issue and is looking at its own land for an initial supply pipeline and strategic planning to incentivise housing supply for the next five to ten years.

The appointment of Fatima Abbas, the new Regional Director of Planning for south eastern NSW provides a further opportunity to take on the challenge of increasing land supply in the Illawarra.

The Illawarra needs a fresh set of eyes to examine the housing affordability problem and clearly the Department of Planning is a key player in clearing the blockages in the planning system and encouraging or compelling our local councils to efficiently rezone land

The Illawarra Chapter of the Property Council looks forward to working with the new Regional Director and Shoalhaven Council on solutions to the housing supply and affordability problem in the Illawarra.