Low-cost housing in new residential developments across Sydney and regional NSW will be offered direct to first homebuyers and key workers under a new industry-driven initiative supported by the NSW Government.

NSW Minister for Planning and Housing, the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, launched the newly formed, not-for-profit Housing Supply Association (HSA) at a major industry event in Sydney today.

The HSA will work closely with government and industry to streamline planning processes, develop effective policy to reduce housing costs and increase housing supply. The Association, which is backed by commercial property experts and has the support of the police, ambulance and fire services, will target moderate income earners, with a focus on key workers.

The launch comes as new revelations show some emergency services personnel are flying in weekly to Sydney from interstate or travelling large distances to maintain their jobs because they can’t afford to live there.

Minister Roberts has welcomed HSA’s commitment to help break the cycle of the spiralling property market, which slams the door on many new first homebuyers and prevents key workers living where they work.

“The NSW Government is committed to working with businesses, organisations and local communities to address housing affordability and those who are most disadvantaged in buying their first home, or renting where they live,” Mr Roberts said.

“I commend the formation of the not-for-profit Housing Supply Association to assist in tackling these challenges and look forward to working hand-in-hand with all participants to break down the barriers for future generations of new home owners and renters and helping key workers to live where they work.”

Affordable properties will be made available for purchase and rental through the HSA, with caveats placed on sales to first homebuyers to ensure they are not on-sold for profit. Criteria and allocations for rental property applicants will be determined by a sub-committee comprising representatives of key worker associations.

The HSA will also work with government and industry to secure property exclusively for those who need it most, many properties at potentially 20 – 30% below market value. Property allocation will also focus on ex-servicemen and women and people with disabilities.

HSA Vice President Aras Labutis said Australia was at a crossroads in addressing housing affordability for the average wage-earner.

“I am proud to be part of the HSA’s collaboration with government, councils and key stakeholders to deliver the first major positive intervention to address this serious social issue,” Mr Labutis said.

“This is the only holistic, industry-driven solution to deliver real outcomes for first homebuyers and key workers, such as the police, ambos and fire services who look after our communities 24/7.

“The HSA’s purpose is to increase affordable housing supply as part of an industry-wide response to a problem that now desperately needs action, not words.”

Mr Labutis said suitable developments for the HSA’s target market are underway or in the pipeline.

One major property provider has already committed 20% of a new development to the HSA for affordable housing.

“We have consulted those groups facing hardship, and the current housing situation disadvantages many of the most valued members of our community. We need to increase supply of housing, and we need to look after those who need it most,” he said.

“We have tested our approach with government and the key worker Associations and they like the process.

“I would like to thank the NSW Government for their support and commitment of this important initiative.

“Without the collaboration of industry and support of Minister Roberts and the NSW Government our plans to address this crisis would not be possible.”

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To sign up for the home buyers database please go to: http://housingsupplyassociation.org.au/home-buyers-database/

Media Contact:
Mark Gold, HSA 0411 221 292