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Housing Support Program a welcome step to increase housing supply

The Urban Development Institute of Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by The Hon Catherine King MP of the $500m Housing Support Program which promises to streamline planning processes and inject funding for enabling infrastructure for housing that is desperately needed.

“It is encouraging to see the Commonwealth Government working on the two most critical ‘front end’ barriers holding back housing delivery – planning approvals and lack of enabling infrastructure,” said Col Dutton, UDIA National President.

Stream 1 is open now to build the capabilities of a planning workforce with a focus on improving the efficiency of the planning process and ultimately accelerate construction of new homes. UDIA suggests that rewarding States & Territories financially under the bonus for dwelling approvals issued on the 1.2m Accord target could support “front end” delivery, rather than waiting for builds.

This has been a critical issue for some states where it is taking up to 3 years to get planning approvals for apartments and anything up to 6-12 years for housing projects to be completed. 

We need more people and better systems to cut those planning approval times in half if we are going to turn the corner on this housing crisis.

“Our industry is keen to work with government on Stream 2 which has the greatest potential to remove up front barriers to housing supply – the lack of enabling infrastructure that’s holding back development ready land,” said Mr Dutton.

 “We will be working closely with the Government and the Department of Infrastructure to ensure the industry is directly involved in initiating funding proposals for critical infrastructure projects including funding for poles, wires, roads and amenities which are currently holding back housing delivery,” he said.

One of the crucial problems with implementing enabling infrastructure is the time it takes to convince State and Territory Governments to focus financial resources on the issue. Industry will look to ensure this Housing Support Program addresses this issue directly by investing where it is needed most to unlock housing.

UDIA’s National Policy Platform: Supply. Support. Sustainability… pathways to productivity makes a number of specific recommendations including those below that are aligned with the initiatives outlined in the Housing Support Program:-

Deliver more homes more quickly

Infrastructure for Liveable Communities:

Effective Planning Systems:

 Full details of UDIA’s Policy Platform can be found at this link