The NSW Nationals in the state government are backing councils with funding and resources to move a backlog of planning proposals and development applications, and deliver more local housing.
The $11.5 million Unblocking Homes program will provide targeted support to help fast-track the delivery of tens of thousands of homes currently stuck in the system.
It’s support which will provide more opportunity and certainty for first home buyers, under-resourced councils, and for the construction industry, with the government building on its $2.8 billion 2022 Housing Package announced in this year’s Budget, with targeted help for councils to drive more local housing delivery.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the support includes a new Regional Housing Flying Squad which would help regional councils clear development applications faster and speed up the delivery of new homes.
“We know there’s a shortage of qualified planners in some parts of the State. This is about overcoming that with a flying squad of experts who can help councils review development applications faster and move projects into construction,” Mr Toole said.
“We trialled this approach earlier in the year so we know it works. We’re now expanding it to ensure we are making an impact in the communities that need it most.”
The Regional Housing Flying Squad is on track to assess more than 2,400 new homes, saving hundreds of hours of council planners’ time.
As of September 15, there were 107 housing rezoning proposals under assessment, with the potential for 87,583 rezoning lots.
There were also nearly 10,000 residential development applications under assessment with the potential to deliver some 82,842 homes.
The $11.5 million Unblocking Homes Program includes 7 new and ongoing initiatives:
• Regional Housing Flying Squad (expansion following successful pilot);
• Planning proposal support and expert assessment for prioritised housing projects (new project);
• Planning Delivery Unit Regional Case Management and Planning Concierge;
• Regionally Significant DA capacity building and faster assessments;
• Local Housing Strategy Implementation;
• Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund; and
• Faster Local Assessment Grant.
For more information visit https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/unblocking-homes-program