Housing for All

 

The Greens believe that everyone should live in secure and affordable housing. We all need and deserve a roof on our head and the security that comes from having a place to call home. Housing is a necessity, and we know that secure, affordable housing decreases stress, increases opportunities and enables people to fully participate in their communities.

Conversely, insecure housing - let alone a total absence of it - can lead to stress, loss of income, lack of opportunities and social isolation. Housing is a major part of a family’s expenses - whether in mortgage or rent. With only three properties in the whole region affordable to a single aged pensioner, the problem has the worst it's ever been.

Unfortunately, years of Liberal and Labor governments have treated housing as a commodity and created a system that works best for their corporate donors. It is increasingly challenging for young people to buy their first home. Rental prices are skyrocketing, and people of all ages are struggling to find an affordable, secure home.

In the Northern Rivers, this means that homelessness has increased and that rents in some areas like Byron Bay are less affordable than in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The 2018 North Coast Community Housing Report showed that areas in Northern Rivers are some of the most unaffordable in New South Wales. Urgent action is necessary.

The Greens will ensure we have a housing system that puts people’s needs before property developer greed. We’ll invest in a vibrant social and community housing sector, give renters the dignity of an affordable and stable home, and we’ll make it easier for you to buy your first home than for an investor to buy their fifth.

 

Our plan for affordable and secure housing:

  • Housing for all
  • Rights and security for renters
  • End the homelessness crisis
  • Residents First

 

Universal Social Housing

The Greens believe housing is a universal right. Just like Medicare and our public school system, everyone should be able to apply for social housing if they need it. Social housing should be a desirable and realistic alternative to taking out a mortgage or renting for life in the private market. The Greens will grow the housing stock to make homes available to people most in need and to people on higher incomes who opt into our Universal Housing system.

We will create 300,000 social homes in New South Wales over ten years, to meet the gap in low-cost rental housing. All housing on public land will be social housing, and we will set inclusionary zoning targets so that at least 30% of housing on private land will be social housing.

I will work with community groups like the North Coast Community Housing Trust and other providers to implement and trial locally appropriate solutions. For example, this could be a distributed model for youth housing.

The additional social housing will not only guarantee universal access for people who need homes, the rent capping at 30% of income will have flow-on effects to lower prices across the private rental sector, due to competition from social housing. With the Greens in Government, there will be housing for all. Our plan will benefit the more than 3,000 households on the housing waiting list in the Northern Rivers.

 

Our plan will:

  • Create 300,000 social homes across the state
  • Guarantee universal eligibility
  • Cap rents at 30% with flow-on effects across the renting sector.

 

Secure Rentals

Rental properties are people’s homes, and renters deserve the same security and quality of life as homeowners. However, our current rental laws allow dodgy landlords to maximise their returns at the expense of people’s security and safety.

The Greens stood with the community during the last review of tenancy laws and are proud to have achieved some wins for renters. Thanks to the tireless work of groups like the Make Renting Fair Coalition, rent can only go up once per year, tenants suffering domestic and family violence has greater flexibility, and tenants can more easily make minor modifications to property. Unfortunately, the government refused to back a Green’s amendment ending unfair ‘no-grounds’ evictions, despite support from grassroots community groups. We’ve had some wins, but there is much more we can do. Click here to see our full plan to make renting fairer and more secure.

 

Our plan will:

  • End no grounds eviction
  • Cap rents to CPI
  • Create a public database of maintenance issues

 

End Homelessness

While we want social housing to be a universal scheme, the Greens recognise that many people have additional needs that must be met with specialised services. These may result from a disability, health condition or sexual orientation. Our plan will not only provide housing, but support people to live securely on an equitable basis.

With homelessness at a crisis point in Northern Rivers, we need decisive actions which will end homelessness now more than ever. That’s why we support and will implement the platform of Homelessness New South Wales in its entirety.

We will double NSW’s funding for homelessness services, as part of a nation-wide commitment to double the funds available to tackle the homelessness crisis at a federal level. With the additional funding, we will increase funding for youth homelessness, homelessness and other services that provide assistance and support for people who don't have secure housing - enabling them to spend more time and energy helping homeless, rather than having to scrounge for grants. 

 

Our plan will:

  • Prioritise long-term homeless in securing social housing
  • Support Homelessness NSW’s pre-election platform
  • Double NSW’s funding for homelessness services

 

Residents First

The Greens support local councils having more powers to facilitate affordable housing in their local communities. As people best placed to understand local issues, we believe that councils should be equipped with the appropriate tools to regulate housing.

Unfortunately, the needs of residents have too often been neglected in favour of over-commercialisation and over-tourism. Local councils should have the power to determine its own conditions and restrictions on holiday lets, but with a caveat. Resident homeowners, who holiday let their whole homes for less than a prescribed number of days per year, would be exempt from the need to submit development applications.

Local councils should also have the power to regulate holiday letting and vacant properties. We will allow local councils to regulate short-term holiday accommodation by giving them a range of powers so that the most locally appropriate solutions are pursued. Local communities are the best positioned to establish limits on AirBnB and short term holiday letting in their communities, and we are committed to supporting them. The needs of locals and residents must come first. 

 

Our plan will:

  • Give councils inclusionary zoning powers
  • Give councils power to regulate short-term holiday letting.
  • Ensure that residents come first.