The NSW government believes housing availability and affordability have reached a crisis point, recently naming it as “the biggest single pressure” facing residents of the state.
With this in mind, NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey recently handed down the 2023-24 budget, revealing the Minns Labor government’s plans to address these key issues.
With a $2.2 billion Housing and Infrastructure Plan at the core of its efforts, the government aims to provide immediate relief while also focusing on long-term planning. Here’s a breakdown of the key initiatives:
First home buyers often find it challenging to enter the housing market, given the costs involved.
To make it easier, the NSW government is expanding the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme. Buyers of homes valued under $800,000 will pay no stamp duty, while those purchasing homes between $800,000 and $1 million will receive concessions.
This expansion should see five out of six first home buyers benefit from either no stamp duty or a discounted rate.
Renters also stand to benefit from the new budget through the appointment of a first-ever NSW Rental Commissioner.
This role will focus on making renting in NSW fairer, more secure and more affordable.
The commissioner will also oversee the implementation of a Portable Rental Bonds Scheme and protect renters from unfair evictions by laying down reasonable grounds for terminating a lease.
Moreover, the budget plans to make it easier for renters to keep pets in their homes.
Another key focus area is speeding up the planning process.
A total of $38.7 million has been set aside for a Faster Planning Program.
The plan involves the creation of a NSW Building Commission armed with $24 million to ensure high-quality housing construction and to protect homebuyers from substandard buildings.
There’s also $9.1 million reserved for identifying housing supply opportunities on government-owned sites, and $5.6 million earmarked for deploying artificial intelligence to make planning systems more efficient.
The cornerstone of the NSW government’s strategy is the $2.2 billion Housing and Infrastructure Plan. This includes:
This plan has a dual focus: to increase the supply of new homes and to ensure these homes are integrated into well-planned communities with the necessary infrastructure.
The government also plans to establish Homes NSW, a body tasked with delivering better outcomes for public and social housing tenants. The Essential Housing Package, worth $224 million, will back this effort.
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