Public Housing Boom For NSW

Objecting residents claim they have been silenced by “draconian laws” enforced last year, which block locals from appealing against public housing in their neighbourhoods.

The Rudd government hopes to build 80,000 social and public houses nationally by 2012.

In Queensland this weekend, Housing Minister Karen Struthers said it was a “shame” residents took the NIMBY (Not in my backyard) approach to social housing.

Queensland is reportedly undergoing its biggest commission flat building boom.

“The arguments (for objections) are usually practical things about car parks…but sometimes when we dig a little deeper that’s masking general concern about social housing tenants coming into their neighbourhoods,” she said.

But Parramatta Lord Mayor Paul Garrard disagrees.

He told the Daily Telegraph he “has been inundated with community concerns over development and the spread of townhouses throughout western Sydney.”

“They are effectively taking government out of the hands of locals,” Mr Gerrard said.

NSW Housing aims to build 6000 social housing units and townhouses by the Government’s June 2012 deadline, to qualify for the $1.9 billion Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. Another $1 billion is being spent by the State government for another 3000 dwellings on 505 sites across the state, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Many proposals all over New South Wales, and other States, are being lodged with council with an element of social housing, which it is hoped will speed through an approval.

Developers like the proposals because a certain number of apartments can be sold to a government-approved Housing Association, which has a backfill of public housing tenants, many of whom are currently staying in hotels and hostels.

In NSW alone, 340,000 tenants already live in public housing, while another 39,000 are on waiting lists.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of