Shelter NSW media release – 9 January 2012
Shelter NSW has released a research paper on ‘mixed communities’ prepared by Dr Tony Gilmour from Elton Consulting.
Mary Perkins, Executive Officer, said that the private-housing market in New South Wales is becoming increasingly polarized, especially in the greater metropolitan region. ‘The mix of people from different income groups that there might have been historically, or that there potentially could be, is adversely affected by housing unaffordability.’ The research paper is timely, given the current reviews in New South Wales of the planning system and of the State Environmental Planning Policy on Affordable Rental Housing, she said. The research paper looks at how social inclusion could be promoted through provision of affordable housing in locations where market forces would not be providing it.
The paper discusses the various ways that governments’ urban policies, and in particular those on land-use planning, have been used to try and achieve socially fair outcomes.
Dr Gilmour says: ‘In an ideal world planning should ensure that no group is unduly disadvantaged by development processes, and has equal access to employment, education, leisure and services. Promoting opportunities for different socio-economic groups to access housing opportunities within new and changing areas of a city is an important way of achieving social equity in urban development.’
The research paper gives examples of regeneration initiatives, by Commonwealth, state and local governments, that have sought to address the housing dimension of social exclusion. The incorporation of affordable housing schemes in urban renewal areas in parts of inner Sydney (City West, and Green Square) is a good example.
‘New South Wales has been a pioneer in using land-use planning instruments to encourage affordable housing in infill development and to protect existing affordable rental housing. We hope it will continue to be so’, Ms Perkins said.
The paper, Mixed communities (Shelter Brief 48), can be downloaded from the Shelter NSW website.
Mary Perkins, Executive Officer: (02) 9267 5733 ext. 14, 0419 919 091; email: