The CEO of the Housing Supply Association (HSA), Bill Pickering, has expressed concern at calls by some Liberal MPs in NSW for the disbandment of ‘priority precincts’ which he says are critical for affordable housing.

The HSA is currently developing its policy position on the provision by the private housing industry sector of affordable housing for first homebuyers, key workers, injured veterans and the disabled.

“It is critical to understand that the best way to provide affordable housing is to build it into larger precinct developments using offsets provided by scale. Smaller or piecemeal development simply limits the supply of dwellings that can be purchased or rented by first homebuyers or renters.

“Those opposed to priority precincts should also understand that precinct-wide planning provides an opportunity to master-plan appropriate infrastructure needs and community amenity in a cohesive way that has not been achieved in the past,” Mr Pickering said.

Established in July this year, the HSA is working with several agencies and suppliers to meet the critical shortage of housing for first homebuyers and key workers – particularly those in emergency services such as police, paramedical, fire and rescue; and critical service areas such as nursing and teaching.

Mr Pickering said the reality is that Sydney as an international city attracted new residents because of employment and other opportunities. Demand for housing continues to grow and supply still is not keeping up with this demand even with priority precincts.

“Abandoning priority precincts would only make the current housing shortage crisis even worse, drive up costs, reduce affordability, and substantially reduce community benefit and infrastructure provided by the developer.

“I understand that some MPs may have community pressure on them to reduce development in their local area, but they need to recognise it is far better to have a master-planned area with community open space, infrastructure and community amenity programmed into a development precinct than one with random development undertaken through individual separate development applications which limit public benefit.”

The Housing Supply Association is aiming to showcase a number of master-planned developments in the coming months that represent excellence in addressing affordability, local infrastructure and public amenity, Mr Pickering said.

Further Information: HSA Consultant CEO, Bill Pickering. Phone 0404 074 299