More diverse housing needed across Sydney, not less
Shadow Minister for Planning Tania Mihailuk’s announcement on Sunday that Labor would scrap the Medium Density Housing Code (Missing Middle Code) if elected in March is a blow to diverse housing supply across Sydney and affordable housing for younger generations.
The Missing Middle Code was designed to allow more terrace style housing to be built where needed across Sydney to ensure that new housing was consistent with the existing character of particular suburbs. Last year, implementation of the Code was deferred by the NSW Government in 50 council areas until July 2019.
“The Missing Middle Code is a good policy and should be implemented. If introduced, the Code would mean that medium density housing, essentially terraces, could be built more easily and in the right places across Sydney so to abolish the policy completely is a drastic step.
“We would ask Labor not to throw the baby out with the bath water – the Missing Middle Code is an important policy that if implemented well, will mean better good growth outcomes across Sydney.
“It’s important to remember that the Code was consulted upon for two years with input from a range of stakeholders to get it right – we need a clear separation between the Code itself and how it was implemented; if the Code is to be scrapped, then we need a different plan to deliver more housing in existing suburbs.
“It may be the case that Labor has again identified the right problem, a broken planning system, yet applied the wrong solution and is assessing the Code and policy only through the lens of how it was implemented.
“The Missing Middle Code was a key tenet of the Greater Sydney Commissions’ District Plans and should be incorporated into the updated LEPs of Councils – timelines and deadlines on updating local plans and development controls are important to ensure we don’t just plan, but also see outcomes.
“The implementation of the Code would mean a greater supply of diverse, more affordable housing that gives younger generations trying to get into the housing market in the middle rings of Sydney a greater chance of buying their first home.”
The Missing Middle Code is a type of complying development, a type of development that can move more easily through the planning system as it meets already agreed stringent standards and local council zoning requirements which means high quality development in the right places.
Media: William Power – 0429 210 982