Social and affordable housing gets fast-tracked

City of Newcastle

A $12 million social housing funding agreement between the City of Newcastle and NSW Land and Housing Corporation was endorsed by councillors at last night’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

The landmark agreement sets out a commitment from the NSW Government to match City of Newcastle’s contribution of approximately $2 million annually for the next three years.

The funds will be invested in the delivery of new social and affordable housing in Newcastle, in priority locations such as Wallsend.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the endorsement by councillors is a significant step towards fast tracking social and affordable housing outcomes for people in Newcastle, while also supporting investment and jobs growth.

“With over 10,000 families suffering from housing stress across the city, housing affordability in Newcastle is close to crisis point, which is why this issue is a priority of the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan and the Newcastle Local Housing Strategy 2020,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This historic partnership between City of Newcastle and the NSW Government will increase the supply and range of social and affordable housing to ease the stress of the most at-risk community members, while supporting investment and creating more jobs in Newcastle.

“Affordably priced housing plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of people and their families, and social housing provides an important safety net for the community.”

NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the agreement would deliver positive social and affordable housing outcomes for the people of Newcastle.

“The NSW Government is currently investing more than $250 million to fast-track the delivery of more social and affordable housing across the state – but we can’t do it alone,” Mr Roberts said.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Newcastle to address housing supply and affordability, and we hope this investment will encourage more of our local government partners to do the same.

“We need to work across all levels of government to keep pace with the growing need for social and affordable housing.”

Research undertaken by City of Newcastle shows that one in three people don’t believe there are enough diverse housing options for everyone across the city, and one quarter of people don’t believe they can afford a reasonable standard of housing in the area.

The latest forecasts show the population is set to increase by 41,150 residents to 202,050 by 2041 in the Newcastle local government area (LGA), which will stimulate demand for almost 20,000 new dwellings.

“The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) owns 4,300 social housing dwellings across the Newcastle LGA, and City of Newcastle is working in close partnership with LAHC to fast-track projects such as the renewal of existing properties in Waratah West and Wallsend,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Construction has already commenced on the redevelopment of two ageing homes on Landa Parade Waratah West that will be transformed into a low-rise, accessible building that features six two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units for up to 16 residents.

“City of Newcastle and NSW Land and Housing Corporation wants to ensure future social housing continues to be built in the right places with good access to jobs, services, public transport and open space, and through this partnership with the NSW Government our organisations will lead the way to deliver better outcomes for the community.”

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