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Architects weigh in on housing supply budget initiatives

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The Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter has welcomed the housing supply budget initiatives as containing promise for householders desperate to find a safe and stable place to live. 

Institute NSW Chapter president Adam Haddow said positive social and affordable housing initiatives for the coming financial year included:

  • $300 million to be reinvested in Landcom to accelerate the construction of 4,697 new homes including 1,409 affordable homes
  • $610m in funding negotiated with the Australian Government’s Social Housing Accelerator program for 1,500 additional social housing dwellings
  • $79.3m for new supply of Aboriginal Housing. 

The $9.1m to assess housing supply opportunities across government-owned sites could potentially deliver some important gains, he said. 

A regular visitor to Newcastle, Mr Haddow said the institute would continue to assess the details of the initiatives and their implementation. 

“We strongly encourage the government to invest in well-connected existing suburbs to achieve the state’s housing goals rather than relying on disconnected and poorly performing greenfield development,” he said. 

“We need to invest wisely to ensure that NSW remains an equitable and fair society.” 

Mr Haddow said the future appointment of a NSW Rental Commissioner, among a range of measures to make renting a fairer, more affordable and more secure option, was a significant step in the right direction. 

He added the institute would assess the build-to-rent trials in the South Coast and Northern Rivers in which the government is investing $60m. 

“It is important that the build-to-rent trials target those struggling most, and include dwellings suitable for families,” he said. 

“We are genuinely excited about the emerging sector of build-to-rent asset holders who will be focused on good quality design to deliver long term durability, sustainability and liveability. 

“We hope that the trial will help deliver a significant number of rental properties underpinned by institutional investors committed to creating long-term vibrant residential communities with excellent amenity, and that this brings affordable family-sized dwellings to our private rental market with secure long-term tenancies.” 

The institute has collaborated with the NSW Government over the long-term to promote building quality.

This year’s budget also allocated $24m to establish the NSW Building Commission to support high-quality housing and protect homebuyers from substandard buildings.

This decision to establish a commission was announced by the Minns Government in May. 

“The Institute has made an unwavering commitment in its continual policy advice and technical input to address NSW’s building quality – especially our extensive work with the government and the Building Commissioner on the whole scheme of Design Declarations and Certifications,” Mr Haddow adds. 

“We are glad to see that the budget has made good on its earlier announcement to establish a new Building Commission before the end of 2023.” 

For more NSW State Budget stories:

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