The City of Sydney Council this week voted to establish a Housing for All committee and working group, as a response to the growing calls for more affordable housing in the city and the campaigning by Greens and residents in the recent council elections.

Greens City of Sydney Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, Deputy Chair, City of Sydney Housing for All Committee & Council lead Housing for All Working Group said: 

“This pandemic has seen a spike in housing prices beyond anyone’s predictions. Rising prices to rent or buy a home, and the sell-off of public housing by the NSW Government, is radically changing the shape of our inner-city communities.

“Affordable housing crisis is the responsibility of all levels of government.

“The City of Sydney already has a number of strong initiatives to support the growth of social housing and a percentage of affordable housing in new developments. However, the city is not currently on track to deliver against its own targets, let alone meet the calls for stronger action from the community.

“As a new Greens Councillor, it is so pleasing to deliver concrete commitments from Council to do more on affordable housing, at the first meeting.

“The new affordable housing committee has been established at the highest level of Council. The committee will be supported by a working group which will bring in expertise and work with housing advocates, communities and neighbouring Councils.

“There was unanimous support from fellow Councillors, including for my election as Deputy Chair of the committee, and to lead the Working Group.

“The loss of existing affordable & public housing in the city is happening now. Action by Council this term will be essential to determining the future of our city. I look forward to working with all Councillors to lead strong action on affordable housing this term.”

Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens Housing spokesperson said:

“It’s great to see the Council responding to the Greens calls to make housing for all a priority in our city – and that Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore will be taking an active role as Deputy Chair in helping to realise some of the initiatives we campaigned on in the recent council elections”

I congratulate the Council for establishing this committee and acknowledging the needs of our community when it comes to addressing the housing crisis in our city which makes it so difficult for many people to pay rent or find housing that they can afford.

“Local councils can play a significant role in addressing the growing housing crisis in their areas – and make up for the failures of despite the Liberal/National State government who continue to prioritise developers and their profits over people’s homes.”