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New South Wales faces the most severe housing crisis across the country. One-third of voters rent and half of those on low-income are in rental stress.

Housing is tipped to be one of the biggest election issues ahead of the polling day on March 23. Here is what the three major parties have offered so far.

Coalition

The Coalition has not made any major policy announcement since Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s first budget in 2017.

When Ms Berejikilian took over the job, she publicly declared that making housing more affordable in NSW would be one of her top priorities.

The government has since implemented a housing affordability strategy which pledges to “give first-home buyers a fair go” by:

Increasing grants and concessions available to first-home buyers;

Stamp duty abolished on homes up to $650,000;

Stamp duty relief for homes up to $800,000;

Provide a $10,000 grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000 and purchasers of new homes up to $600,000;

Insurance duty on lenders’ mortgage insurance removed.

Since Berejiklian’s first budget as Premier:

59,690 exemptions have been granted to January this year, totalling $832.1 million;

23,072 grants have been paid to January this year, totalling $284 million.

Increasing housing supply:

Providing housing targets, identified by the Greater Housing Commission, for each local council;

Identifying priority precincts, allowing accelerated rezoning to deliver 30,000 additional homes as well as accelerating council-led rezoning;

Faster development application approvals;

Requiring the government land development agency Landcom to be involved in housing affordability;

The government claims there has been 65,000 housing completions in the year to June 2018.

Renting:

The Coalition legislated the biggest shake-up of rental laws in more than two decades:

No penalties for domestic violence victims who break a lease
;

Limiting rental increases for periodic leases to once a year
;

Set fees for breaking a fixed-
term lease;

Improve tenants’ ability to make minor alteration to a home
;

Introduce minimum standards, including access to electricity and gas, structurally sound buildings and adequate natural light and ventilation
;

A promise to change the bond system so tenants can transfer their current bond to their new place is yet to be implemented.

Labor

Michael Daley’s Labor Party goes to the polls with a pitch of increasing housing and ensuring fairness.

Its housing package pledges:

Mandating 25 per cent affordable housing through inclusionary zoning in all new developments for any rezoned government land;

Mandating 15 per cent affordable housing for privately-developed land;

Refocusing Landcom to fast-track land release and develop land for integrated affordable, social and private housing;

Make Greater Sydney Commission re-write its housing targets for each region to ensure a fairer spread of housing and ensure infrastructure keeps up with development;

Banning spot rezonings that allow developers to bypass local planning rules;

Prioritise new infrastructure and public transport in the west and south.

Renting:

End no-fault evictions, specifying a list of grounds for the landlord to terminate a lease, in the first 100 days of a Labor government;

Introduce tenancies for up to five years – in consultation with industry;

Limit rent reviews to once a year;

Introduce default 12-month leases.

SMH/ MAR 1, 2019

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