Voice housing crisis fears

MAYOR Bilal El-Hayek has met with the Premier to voice concerns over the State Government’s proposed changes to vary densities in an effort to tackle the housing crisis.

The State Government says an additional 377,000 new homes are needed by 2029 and has called on councils to allow more housing in low and medium density zones and consider housing types like terraces, manor houses, low and mid-rise apartments as well as create more space for housing through dual occupancies.
Mayor El-Hayek said the intention was worthy “but that worthiness must not come at the expense of creating unliveable and uninspiring dense cities”.
“Density can work but only if the density is done right and in collaboration with local councils and the community,” he said.
”Our council hasn’t shirked its task of delivering new homes, or meeting the targets set by previous governments – in fact, we have done most of the heavy lifting.
“Heavy lifting when it comes to meeting housing targets … and heavy lifting when it comes to master planning our centres for the future. In fact, we are on target to deliver 50,000 new homes by 2036.”
The Mayor said he was “on the record as supporting density in appropriate places, if it is properly planned”.
“I pressed the point that by working collaboratively and strategically with our council, together we can safeguard the character and charm of our suburbs and preserve our green spaces, while at the same time providing a diverse range of housing for families, students, essential workers and our older residents.”
Mayor El-Hayek said the message from the Premier Chris Minns was loud and clear … “his vision of providing more housing will not be derailed by councils who simply say ‘no’, equally, his words of support for councils who proactively work with the Government for better outcomes was much louder”.
He will also write to the Premier to reinforce his views, and urge him to ensure the housing targets are distributed fairly across all councils, and “not leave all the heavy lifting to councils like ours who are already doing the right thing”.
The council has prepared a submission for the NSW Government based on its assessment of the proposed changes, the widespread implications on this City, and understanding of the need to urgently deliver housing and to maintain consistency with the principles of doing density well.