Fairer housing targets announced with incentives to councils to build better communities for NSW


New housing targets that rebalance housing across Greater Sydney, the Illawarra, the Hunter and Central Coast and regional NSW have been released today as the Minns Government announces an incentive scheme to encourage councils to meet these new targets.

This builds on the significant steps that the government has already taken to tackle the housing crisis NSW is facing.

Housing Crisis

Housing is the biggest single cost of living pressure people are dealing with right now, with mortgage payments or rent the largest expense for most households.

Without action now, we are at risk of being a city with no young people.

A recent Productivity Commission report found between 2016 and 2021, Sydney lost twice as many people aged 30 to 40 as it gained. These are the people who open businesses, have families, build our communities and contribute to the local economy.

The NSW Government is absolutely committed to confronting the housing crisis head on – and that means building more well-located homes; close to infrastructure and transport links; next to amenities and work opportunities.

Faster Assessments Council Incentives and Grants program

To support this the NSW Government is today announcing the first stage of an incentive program for local governments which meet and beat their housing targets.

The NSW Government’s program will reserve $200 million in grants for councils to fund more green space such as parks, sporting facilities and smaller pocket parks, plus maintenance of local streets and footpaths which Councils maintain.

The infrastructure that builds better communities for NSW.

This is in addition to support already announced including through reforms to developer contributions of $1 billion over the forward estimates, and up to $700 million per year beyond that.

This funding is reserved by the NSW Government to help fund schools, hospitals and roads to support the population growth that comes with new housing.

An additional $1 billion raised through this contribution will also be directed to local councils over 10 years for housing enabling infrastructure.

Fairer Housing Targets

The Minns Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to address the housing crisis by rebalancing housing growth across the state with a focus on well-located homes close to transport, jobs and existing infrastructure.

For a long time, Western Sydney has accepted the overwhelming burden of new housing in our city without proper infrastructure to cope with the increase in population.

This plan ensures we are now building more housing around established infrastructure; in places that are connected to work and transport; in communities that already have schools and hospitals.

These five-year targets ensure that while all areas would see an increase in homes being built to help address the housing crisis, new housing will be more fairly rebalanced from the West of Sydney towards the East and North of Sydney.

These targets do not mean additional housing over and above recently announced planning reforms – instead they will provide guideposts for local governments as well as access to financial support for future housing.

This rebalancing has been developed with consideration of:

  • Homes already in the pipeline
  • The additional homes to be delivered from new planning reforms including Transport Orientated Developments and low and mid rise reforms.
  • Constraints due to environmental risks like floods or bushfires

Over the next five years 82 per cent of the housing targets come from infill areas with 18 per cent to come from greenfield locations.

These targets will be ambitious. Last year NSW delivered 48,393 homes, and the previous record number was 74,683 in 2018/19 but we can’t sit back and do nothing.

This is part of the NSW Government’s plan to build better homes, and better communities for the state. To build a better NSW.

For more information on the housing targets, visit Housing targets.

Premier of NSW Chris Minns said:

“We’re losing too many young people, people who make the city vibrant, essential workers and young families because they can’t afford a place to live in NSW. This has to change.

“I’ve talked a long time about the need to ensure we have a fairer balance of housing across the state – so housing is built close to already established transport links, schools and hospitals.

“While these targets are required to be released, the government has already acknowledged that they will be difficult to meet.

“That’s why this government is pulling all levers required to reforming planning and setting targets for housing growth, while providing the infrastructure needed to build better communities.”

Minister for Planning and Public Space Paul Scully said:

“These targets are ambitious but realistic, because they’re based on evidence.

“We all need to be accountable. For too long, housing has been delivered without a plan.

“The new targets make for a fairer distribution across Sydney and NSW, with growth in areas where jobs and transport exist or are planned for.

“The good news is that nearly two thirds of homes are either planned, under assessment or under construction.

“The State has already reformed the planning laws to improve efficiency and speed approvals. We’re also investing $200 million to support councils with the infrastructure that builds better communities.”

A chart showing distribution of new homes in eastern LGA's

/Public Release. View in full here.