The second New South Wales (NSW) Budget had been released, but bold reforms to deliver improved housing affordability seem to have been overlooked, according to the Property Council of Australia.
Heavy investment in long term transport, health and education projects are on top of the recently approved budget. Within the budget, short-term cost of living concerns can now be addressed while still supporting long term growth, as it expects a strong surplus of $3.9 billion in 2018-19 and projected tight expenditure in the coming years.
“An additional $6 billion over the next four years will deliver 170 new and upgraded schools and an additional $2.3 billion invested in hospitals will help ensure growing communities get the social infrastructure they need,” Property Council NSW Deputy Executive Director Cheryl Thomas explained.
The $3 billion earmarked for West Metro and the $258 million to start construction on the Parramatta Light rail, respectively, are also good signs for Sydney’s western development.
While the planned budget will allow for the city’s continuous progress, Thomas also reiterated the importance of successfully building 61,000 houses by 2021. “There is nothing in today’s budget to bolster [it]. We mustn’t lose our focus on providing enough homes for our growing population – this requires a long-term policy commitment, not a flash-in-the-pan “one time” policy focus.”
She also said that the increasing cost of housing construction, specifically the surge of infrastructure costs locally, which can add more than 10 % to the price of new housing, should be a priority of the government as early as possible.
“We will continue to strongly advocate government support to get Build-to-Rent up and running to provide secure, high quality housing for the growing number of people in our community who rent.”