Western Sydney absorbed too many homes built in recent years. - triSearch

Western Sydney absorbed too many homes built in recent years.

Planning Minister Paul Scully acknowledged western Sydney had to absorb too many of the homes built in recent years.

Speaking at the Property Council of Australia NSW Housing Summit, in Sydney, he told the industry audience there will be no quick fix to the crisis.

He said the state government had already earmarked ways to support the Housing Accord which will see 377,000 new homes built across New South Wales over the next five years.

Top of the list was to provide 20,000 free apprenticeships and 19,000 training spots for those in “carpentry, plumbing, and electrical or critical skills for the delivery of our housing ambitions”.

While he said he was optimistic the $16.3m allotted for the project would help the skills shortage, he painted a grim picture of the current situation.

“We’ve become one of the least affordable cities on the planet,” he said.

“We’ve consistently built fewer houses than other states on the eastern seaboard.

“Housing is the biggest cost of living challenge and pressure facing New South Wales households and it touches every major issue of public policy.”

Every major social problem in the developed world right now is either created by the housing crisis or deepened by it, he said, quoting a UK thinktank study called The Housing Theory of Everything.

Gratton Institute research showing how Sydney houses prices had risen from seven times the salary of a mid-career teacher in 2000 to 14 times that same salary in 2022 doesn’t make the picture look any brighter.

Practical solutions that he says are being rolled out by the government included “incentives for developers to deliver more affordable housing in new developments alongside market housing.”

Since this was introduced in December, two state significant development applications had been lodged, with dozens more in the pipeline.

The incentives include fast tracking “a greater diversity of homes like terraces, townhouses, duplex, and smaller apartment blocks in suburbs where they’re not currently allowed”.

Current planning restrictions and the streamlining of the approval is also being reviewed as part of the overarching plan to fix the crisis.

The 43 local government areas in Greater Sydney, the Hunter, the Central Coast, and the Illawarra now have five-year targets on what is expected and needs to be delivered as part of the Housing Accord.

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