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First steps taken to address affordable housing in Cumberland

7 April 2017 – Media Release

Cumberland Council has taken the first steps to address housing affordability and access in the local area. From now on five per cent of any proposal to rezone land must be set aside for affordable housing. Furthermore, five per cent of the residential development happening along the Parramatta Road Corridor as part of the Urban Transformation Strategy will be set aside for the same purpose.

In addition, Council will be investigating inclusionary zoning measures, a model which will in effect require a higher proportion of affordable housing is incorporated into all development projects.

Cumberland Council Administrator Viv May commented on the importance of acting now to address the issue:

“The NSW Centre for Affordable Housing identifies Cumberland as one of the Local Government Areas that has a high need for affordable rental housing,” Mr May said.

“Over the past 10 years median household income in Cumberland has increased only 11 per cent, while median rental costs have increased by 77 per cent; Cumberland is under housing stress.

“We need to start dealing with this issue immediately so from now on any planning proposal that comes to Council will require a voluntary planning agreement that commits at least five per cent of the new zone to housing that is affordable for low and moderate household incomes.

“The Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy has ensured immense residential development along that corridor and now we will make sure that five per cent of that boom is affordable housing.

“We also want to make sure development that is happening across the area contributes to affordable housing by following the lead of other Sydney Councils and pursuing inclusionary zoning measures.

“Cumberland residents are on average using more than one third of their income on rent. This number is far too high and these provisions are only the start in making sure that Cumberland is not only a place people want to live, but can comfortably.”

See the full Administrator’s Minute.