The Regional Taskforce set to aid the housing crisis in NSW

The NSW Regions are facing significant housing supply and affordability pressures. This is a result of the impact of COVID-19 among other events which has seen more people choose to stay in the regions or move to the regions from the cities to work close to home or continue a work from home environment. With low supply of housing available this demand has caused the rental and housing prices to grow at a faster rate than Greater Sydney impacting affordability for low and even moderate-income households.

In response to these increasing pressures on the Regional NSW supply and affordability of housing, the NSW Government established the Regional Housing Taskforce in July 2021. The aim of the taskforce is to investigate challenges and barries to the housing supply in the NSW planning system and to develop recommendations on how the system could be used to achieve better housing outcomes for Regional NSW.

Recently the NSW Government released an independent report reflecting the community’s experiences and feedback from more than 500 people across the region.

Chair of the Regional Housing Taskforce Garry Fielding said the taskforce would now prepare recommendations for the NSW Government to consider in October.

“The community’s feedback will be used to develop recommendations outlining how the planning system can address housing needs and stimulate supply,” Mr Fielding said.

The key issues raised in the findings report include:

  • Greater prioritisation on the coordination and delivery of infrastructure to support new homes;
  • A need for collaboration between all levels of Government, the housing development industry and the community to develop the right type of housing where people need it;
  • Calls to speed up planning processes and reduce duplication, particularly where opportunities to provide housing are time-critical; and
  • Demand for more affordable and diverse housing in line with changing demographics, jobs growth, natural disasters, and migration trends.

As planners, who work with various clients to provide affordable housing within the Hunter Region, the recommendations by the taskforce are welcomed. The need for greater coordination across local councils and Government agencies will better our support to our clients to meet the demand for a diverse range of housing in regional locations.