How Councils can drive affordable, social and public housing gains

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The crisis in housing affordability is an international one. The costs to own or rent a home have risen sharply around the world and in Australia, putting home ownership out of the reach of many. However, the scale of Sydney’s housing crisis has been increasing, even compared toother international cities. Sydney is now the second most expensive city to live in the world.

In recent years, other expensive, international capital cities have responded to the housing crisis with significant reforms to the way they maintain, regulate and build affordable, social and public housing, with Councils playing a leading role.

Cities like London and Paris, amongst others, are demonstrating that it is possible to deliver increases in public, social and affordable housing on a large scale, quickly. The efforts of these global cities to address the housing affordability crisis are on a radically different scale than in Australia.

In July 2023, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Sydney, Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, travelled to Paris and London and met with the Deputy Mayor for Housing for Paris Council, Clr Ian Brossat, and the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Development for London Council, Clr Tom Copley, as well as local councillors and public housing agencies that are delivering new public, social and affordable housing, to discuss their housing strategies.

This summary report provides a high-level overview of some of the key housing strategies Paris and London Councils are implementing, which are having success. It includes examples of recent projects, with a particular focus on the role of local councils.

Lessons are identified which show how the City of Sydney, local Councils and the NSW and Australian Governments could take much stronger and urgent action to address housing unaffordability.

Read the full report here