Council supports affordable living plan

24 May 2018

Floor space bonuses for developers are part of a plan Council has adopted to support the supply of affordable housing as the city ratchets up advocacy for households with low-to-moderate incomes.

In return for increased densities, developers will be required to build affordable homes that cost less than 30 per cent of household incomes, or support the supply of these dwellings for key workers through financial contributions, under the Newcastle Affordable Living Plan (NALP).

The NALP identifies Islington, Mayfield, Hamilton, Broadmeadow and Adamstown as corridors for economic and housing renewal and intensification due to their access to existing services, retailers and public transport.

"This plan has been developed in collaboration with a wide range of community stakeholders and lays the foundation for increasing the supply of affordable housing in Newcastle," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"Newcastle City Council recognises that access to secure, appropriate and affordable housing is not only a basic requirement for everyone, it's crucial to creating an inclusive, dynamic and sustainable city. This plan focusses on actions that we can take to facilitate affordable living for our community.

"It is up to all levels of government to work together to address housing affordability.

"While social housing is the responsibility of the NSW Government, Council plays a role in supporting low-to-moderate income households by facilitating affordable housing through control plans, advocacy and prudent planning for non-shelter-related affordable living outcomes, such as access to transport, jobs, education and services."

Other commitments in the NALP include monitoring the supply of housing and working with the NSW Government to implement an effective urban development program.

The Department of Planning and Community Services defines affordable housing as permanent accommodation for low-to-moderate income households that's priced to allow them to meet other basic living costs.

Affordable housing is typically reserved for key workers who provide essential services, such as emergency response and education, and sees mortgages or rents capped at 30 per cent of gross household income.

Council also agreed Tuesday to call for more affordable housing ahead of next month's state budget.

Council will call for a quarter of all homes developed on government-owned land to be affordable and for 15 per cent on privately developed land.

The State Government will also be asked to include Newcastle in a review of State Environmental Planning Policy 70 provisions to enable developer contributions towards affordable housing, as in other local government areas.

To read the full plan, click on the following link and scroll down: