Council fees shut door on housing

A NSW developers’ group has slammed local councils for refusing to accept that council fees and restrictions are making affordable housing increasingly unattainable.

But the group has praised the Federal Government for a decision which ditches earlier plans to charge developers for broadband infrastructure in new housing estates.

Urban Taskforce chief executive Aaron Gadiel said independent figures had confirmed that the current national housing shortfall of 178,000 homes was projected to nearly double to 308,000 over the next four years.

“Every credible assessment of this problem has concluded that this shortage flows from systematic problems in town planning laws,” Mr Gadiel said.

He said the shortage made housing more expensive than it needed to be.

“A massive 37 per cent of low-income renter households are officially in rental stress – that is, they are paying more than 30 per cent of their gross household income in rent,” Mr Gadiel said.

“Just 28 per cent of homes sold are currently affordable to moderate-income households.”

However, Mr Gadiel welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to abandon plans to require new urban developments to help cover the costs of the broadband network.

According to the new policy, developers and property owners will only be required to cover the costs of trenching and ducting with the government’s broadband company NBN Co to cover the other costs.

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