Housing researchers and academic housing economists across Australia agree that an essential part of the policy mix is to mandate a significant percentage of affordable homes in all new housing developments. This is known as “inclusionary zoning”.
Government is conflicted
Other global cities such as New York and London have recognised the important role of housing in their economies and have inclusionary zoning policies. Other states in Australia have also set affordable housing targets. These have not had harmful impacts on housing investment. …
The New South Wales government has been reluctant to set significant inclusionary zoning requirements for new developments in several important parts of the city. One possible reason is that the government itself stands to reap revenue from rezoning and/or redevelopment of government-owned land. …
What targets should be set?
We join those in the housing sector who believe that at least 15% of housing in new private developments should be affordable. On publicly owned land, at least 30% of new housing developments should be affordable.
Of course, the details of land zoning matter. If targets are set, we must ensure the definition of “affordable” actually achieves the goal of reducing housing stress for people on low and moderate incomes while maintaining housing quality.
Substantial inclusionary zoning requirements will not make development more expensive. They will make it harder for land speculators to make large profits while making no contribution to the social and economic future of New South Wales. It is high time the foxes in the henhouse were called to account.