Regional Housing Taskforce Findings Released

06 Oct 2021

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today welcomed the release of an independent report reflecting the community’s experiences of housing and the planning system in regional New South Wales.

Mr Ward said that the Regional Housing Taskforce report includes feedback from community members and local Councils from across our State.

“I welcome the independent findings by the Regional Housing Taskforce,” he said.

“Our community is a unique part of regional NSW and it is important the NSW Government considers the needs of the Kiama Electorate when it delivers its policies and plans.

“I am very pleased that there were 25 representatives from the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region who participated in the roundtable discussions during the consultation period hosted by this Regional Housing Taskforce.

“I take my role as your local Member of Parliament extremely seriously.

“When I make a commitment to our community – I always deliver on it. From Princes Highway upgrades between Albion Park Rail to Gerringong to Berry to Bomaderry – to local community projects and new infrastructure – I am always working hard to secure our fair share of funding from the NSW Government. The future of housing supply and housing affordability are also issues of great importance to our region. 

“The Regional Housing Taskforce’s report gives us a clear picture of the unique factors affecting the future of housing across our region.

“In terms of population growth, we know that we have the potential to attract an extra 185,000 new residents to live and work in regional NSW, on top of population growth already predicted, by 2038,” he said.

“The new Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 plan released in May 2021 identifies 15 regionally significant precincts to drive jobs creation, housing and vibrant communities, with a focus on diverse, affordable and social housing. The 15 precincts cover more than 2,300 hectares of land for employment, recreation, culture, housing and innovation to provide 45,000 jobs and 38,000 new homes.

“This Regional Housing Taskforce findings report also follows the release of the whole of government NSW Housing Strategy 2041 which was announced in May 2021 as a watermark 20-year vision for housing in the four pillars of supply, diversity, affordability and resilience, and the 2021-22 Action Plan which sits alongside Housing 2041 is structured around five priority areas for the NSW Government.

“However this report confirms COVID-19 has accelerated an existing trend of people moving from the city to the bush, and this has had an acute impact on regional housing markets.

To quote Page 7 of this findings report:

“Over the past year, housing pressures have become more acute across regional NSW with rents growing at a faster rate than in Greater Sydney, low rental vacancy rates, and relatively high house price growth”.

“The findings tell us what regional communities need to better support their housing needs and I look forward to receiving the taskforce’s detailed recommendations in October,” Mr Ward said.

The key issues raised in the findings report include:

  • Greater prioritisation on the coordination and delivery of infrastructure to support new homes;
  • A need for collaboration between all levels of Government, the housing development industry and the community to develop the right type of housing where people need it;
  • Calls to speed up planning processes and reduce duplication, particularly where opportunities to provide housing are time-critical; and
  • Demand for more affordable and diverse housing in line with changing demographics, jobs growth, natural disasters, and migration trends.

“The Regional Housing Taskforce will now prepare recommendations for the NSW Government to consider in October 2021,” Mr Ward concluded.

To review the findings and download report and the terms of reference, please visit the website at: