City of Newcastle has endorsed a $12 million funding agreement with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, which will see funds invested into delivering new social and affordable housing in Newcastle.

Artist’s impression of 1-3 Landa Parade, Waratah West, a development that will deliver social housing to Newcastle.

The landmark agreement was endorsed by councillors at last night’s Ordinary Council Meeting and sets out a commitment from the NSW Government to match the council’s contribution of $2 million annually for the next three years.

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said the endorsement by councillors was a significant step towards fast-tracking social and affordable housing outcomes for people in Newcastle while also supporting investment and job growth. 

“With over 10,000 families suffering from housing stress across the city, housing affordability in Newcastle is close to crisis point, which is why this issue is a priority of the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan and the Newcastle Local Housing Strategy 2020,” Cr Nelmes said. 

“This historic partnership between City of Newcastle and the NSW Government will increase the supply and range of social and affordable housing to ease the stress of the most at-risk community members while supporting investment and creating more jobs in Newcastle. 

“Affordably priced housing plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of people and their families, and social housing provides an important safety net for the community.” 

Housing will be delivered in priority locations such as Wallsend.

NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, Anthony Roberts, said the agreement would deliver positive social and affordable housing outcomes for the people of Newcastle.  

“We need to work across all levels of government to keep pace with the growing need for social and affordable housing,” he said.

“The NSW Government is investing more than $250 million to fast-track the delivery of more social and affordable housing across the state – but we can’t do it alone.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Newcastle to address housing supply and affordability…we hope this investment will encourage more of our local government partners to do the same.”

Research undertaken by City of Newcastle showed that one in three people didn’t believe there were enough diverse housing options for everyone across the city.

One-quarter of residents didn’t believe they could afford a reasonable standard of housing in the area. 
 
The latest forecast shows the population is set to increase by 41,150 residents to 202,050 by 2041 in the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA), stimulating demand for almost 20,000 new dwellings. 

“The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) owns 4,300 social housing dwellings across the Newcastle LGA, and City of Newcastle is working in close partnership with LAHC to fast-track projects such as renewing existing properties in Waratah West and Wallsend,” Cr Nelmes said. 

Construction has already commenced on the redevelopment of two ageing homes on Landa Parade in Waratah West, which will be transformed into a modern 10-unit social housing complex. 

“City of Newcastle and NSW Land and Housing Corporation wants to ensure future social housing continues to be built in the right places with good access to jobs, services, public transport and open space,” Cr Nelmes said.

Separately to the agreement, City of Newcastle recently announced that it was inviting tenders from suitably qualified property consultants, community housing providers and developers for an affordable housing feasibility study.

The tender will investigate models for the ownership, operation and delivery of affordable housing on council-owned sites, including land with existing buildings and usage or vacant land.

Maia O’Connor

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