Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park has called on the NSW Government to approve Wollongong City Council to be an eligible Council to use the Affordable Housing planning legislation (SEPP 70).

If approved Wollongong City Council would be able to prepare an affordable housing contribution scheme for certain precincts, areas or developments within their local government area.

SEPP 70 was established to allow approved Councils to identify that there is a need for affordable housing, the kinds of households for which affordable housing may be provided and makes a requirement with respect to the imposition of conditions relating to the provision of affordable housing.

The City of Sydney currently is an approved Council under the scheme and has affordable housing schemes operating in Ultimo/Pyrmont, Green Square and Southern Employment Lands. This has resulted in 739 affordable rental dwellings for very low to moderate income households in the Sydney City LGA.

The region is expected to continue to experience population growth and the demand for affordable housing continues to be an issue in a rising housing market.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park:

“I am pleased that Wollongong City Council has applied to be included in the SEPP 70 scheme. This is vital for our region and will go some way to relieving some of the housing pressure locals are experiencing.

“Housing affordability continues to be a concern, especially for young couples and families trying to enter the housing market.

“We know that this scheme helps to alleviate some of the pressure. City of Sydney has been able to provide hundreds of affordable housing properties, which includes affordable rental properties.

“Affordable rentals is an emerging issue for our area and we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure we are at the forefront of the problem.

“The State Government needs to approve Wollongong City Council as soon as possible.