The NSW Government is working to identify Crown land that can be used to develop social and affordable housing in regional areas that are facing severe accommodation shortages.
Nationals Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the Government wants to support regional communities by providing land that can help more people find a safe place to call home.
“Work is underway to develop a long-term strategy to identify and develop Crown land sites for housing. In the meantime we are working to identify more sites that can be ready to progress with housing by the end of the year. These sites will be in locations with low rental vacancy rates and areas with high demands for social or essential worker housing,” Mr Anderson said.
Crown Lands and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to identify and deliver suitable Crown land for residential development in priority areas facing housing stress.
Crown Lands manages the state’s Crown land assets and LAHC manages NSW’s 125,000 social housing properties, so together they aim to identify land and grow social, worker and private housing supply to benefit communities that need it most.
Once finalised, the Crown Land’s Housing Strategy will include opportunities for funding and partnerships with other government agencies, community housing providers and other project partners to develop mixed tenure communities on Crown land.
In February, the government announced Crown land in Cooma that would support up to 250 mixed tenure dwellings under a partnership between Crown Lands, LAHC, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council.
In May, plans were announced to rezone 615 hectares of Crown land at North Tuncurry to support a proposal that involved 2,100 new homes for up to 4,500 future residents, including benefits for the local Aboriginal community.
Mr Anderson said regional NSW has about 40 per cent of the State’s population with numbers increasing as COVID changes the way people live and work, and people search for more affordable homes and lifestyle options outside cities.
“We’ve seen demand growing for regional housing and rents and house prices increase. This is why the NSW Government is prioritising delivering more housing. By unlocking Crown land we can ensure more properties are built while investing in projects that create local jobs and support local economies.”