Make Housing Affordable

Everyone should have the right to a safe, secure and affordable home.

But NSW is in a housing emergency. People are struggling with skyrocketing rents, unfair evictions, and a chronic lack of public, social, and affordable housing.

Years of the Liberal government's unfair tax breaks to big developers and wealthy investors has created a housing system that puts profit before people's right to a home.

The Greens have a plan to make housing affordable, safe and secure for everyone. We will cut rents, end unfair no grounds evictions and build enough public and affordable housing so no one is homeless.

Despite more people renting than ever, renting has become more expensive, more stressful, and more insecure than ever before.

The Greens will fix the power imbalance that allows dodgy landlords to get away with a lack of maintenance, unchecked rent increases, and unfair evictions.

We'll ensure renters have stronger rights and are protected - making renting a genuine, secure, and affordable option for lifelong renters who have been locked out of private home ownership.

And we will invest in massive development of new public, social and affordable homes so that the 100,000 people in NSW who are stuck on the public housing waiting list will have a home they can afford without having to wait ten years for it.

The Greens believe that housing is a basic right. It's time to make big changes so that everyone has a home that’s affordable and safe and secure.

Cut Rents and Stop Unfair Evictions

More and more people are at risk of homelessness and are in rental stress, having to pay far more than 30% of their income in rent. Rents have risen hugely in the last 12 months and are simply too high. On top of that renters are at risk of unfair evictions - and can’t even be sure they can have their family pet live with them.

The millions of renters in NSW need stronger rights to protect them against dodgy landlords and agents and massive rent hikes. Rents are rising four times faster than wages - in some cases by 30% since the start of the pandemic with renters being forced to pay up to $3000 more per year on rent in 2022.

In Sydney, house rents jumped 12% between Dec 2021 and Dec 2022 which is well in excess of annual wage growth. The situation is as desperate in regional NSW - with an increase of 10.3% in 2022.

People who rent are living in constant fear of being evicted or having their rent hiked for  asking for repairs or complaining about a rent increase because they know how hard it is just to find somewhere to live.

Money talks when it comes to real estate agents and big investors - and they hold all the power. This means people who rent are often subjected to unscrupulous rent bidding, invasive application processes and questionable third party platforms that put their privacy at risk.

The Liberal National government and Labor have consistently voted against Greens rental reforms in the NSW Parliament over many years. We saw this most recently in November last year, when NSW Labor teamed up with the government to block the Greens latest bill to end no grounds evictions. 

We know that more and more people are life-long renters - and that means people who rent need to have long-term, secure leases and real protections to be able to make a home and put down roots in a community.

The Greens will:

  • Immediately introduce a rent freeze and get rents back under control
  • End unfair no grounds evictions 
  • Introduce better minimum standards in rental accommodation including making it mould and damp-free, with ceiling insulation, heating, roof venting and waterproofing with compulsory energy efficiency standards, and internet access.
  • Strengthen the rights of tenants to enable long term leases
  • Strictly regulate tenancy databases and lease applications, and ban third party platforms and rent bidding
  • Allow people to transfer their bonds directly from one property to another
  • Let renters have pets - so it’s their choice not the landlords
  • Include internet access in all rental properties
  • Ensure adequate penalties for  landlords who breach their responsibilities to tenants

Massive Investment in Affordable Housing

Everyone in NSW should have access to homes they can afford.

The Greens believe that access to accessible, sustainable, affordable housing is crucial to health and well being, and should be considered as critical infrastructure.

We think that everyone should have more options for long term affordable housing including government incentives for cooperative housing and community land trusts which would significantly reduce some of the huge costs associated with private home ownership.

Big corporate developers are cashing in on windfall profits in housing whether it’s private home purchases or large scale build-to-rent projects. We are calling for 30 percent of all these new private housing developments to be long term, affordable homes.

Local councils are well placed to drive an increase in affordable housing  throughout NSW and they should be empowered to do this and have targets to meet so that people are able to afford to live in the areas where they work.  

The Greens will make housing affordable by:

  • Recognising that housing is a human right and everyone deserves a place to call home
  • Investing in and building significantly more public, social and affordable homes 
  • Requiring big property developers to include at least 30% ongoing affordable housing in all new large private residential developments
  • Banning the sale of public housing and public land that can be used for housing 
  • Legislating a requirement that at least 10% of all dwellings in NSW must be public and not-for-profit social housing
  • Funding and enabling local councils to meet affordable housing targets and create more affordable homes
  • Supporting not-for-profit community housing initiatives, including shared equity and cooperative housing models
  • Applying a 5% empty homes levy with some exemptions, for homes left empty for over six months with the funds going towards creating more public, social and affordable homes

100,000 new homes

Everyone in NSW should have access to a home they can afford. The chronic housing crisis in NSW means we need a housing revolution now.

The Greens will lead this revolution and commit to NSW investing in a once-in-a -generation mega public homes building project that will forever change peoples’ lives now and into the future.

The Greens will radically reshape public housing in this state so that it becomes what it was established for -  back when governments supported the idea that good quality, safe, accessible and affordable housing was something we all had a legitimate claim to.

Our promise for a massive investment in the creation of livable, sustainable and climate-safe homes is based on the conviction that everyone is entitled to live in a home that they can afford and that everyone should be able to choose to live in an affordable home for the whole of their lives if they choose.

The Greens will:

  • Invest in 10,000 new public and social homes each year for the next 10 years
  • Legislate to require that least 10% of all dwellings in NSW must be public and not-for-profit social housing by 2040  
  • 100% public, social or affordable housing on public land
  • Ban the sale of public housing and public land that can be used for public and social housing
  • Support not-for-profit community housing initiatives, including shared equity and cooperative housing models
  • Fund ongoing investment in specialist homelessness services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, and support services to ensure a Housing FIrst approach and end homelessness in NSW

The Greens Regional Housing Rescue Plan

The Greens will:

  • Invest $1 billion to deliver at least 2,500 public and social homes in regional NSW each year for the next 10 years 
  • Immediately freeze rents and ban unfair evictions in all communities in disaster declared local government areas
  • Resource local councils and communities to regulate the number and location of Short-term Rental Accommodation non-hosted dwellings
  • Make those profiting from non-hosted properties on the short-term rental market, register as a business and pay tax accordingly.
  • Publicly fund energy and sustainability upgrades for all existing and new public, social and affordable homes in the regions. 
  • Require property developers to include at least 30% ongoing affordable housing in all new large private residential developments (100% public housing on public land)
  • Ban the sale of public housing and public land suitable for housing
  • Immediately assist those impacted in Northern Rivers by boosting the Resilient Homes program so that every eligible person has the opportunity to move to a safe location and has a safe place to call home, and fully fund works to raise and retrofit eligible homes. Prioritise house relocations and landswaps to preserve existing housing stock and keep communities together
  • Increase funding and resourcing for roll out of existing schemes as well as local housing, tenancy services and specialist homelessness services to meet increased demands in regional communities

Housing First - End Homelessness

No one in NSW should be homeless. Ending homelessness is a choice and it’s a choice we can make right now. 

Successive governments have not only failed to maintain and increase public housing in this state but have been selling off public land and housing at an alarming rate. We’ve got a huge lack of affordable housing and a massive public housing waiting list.  

Housing is not a privilege and it’s up to governments to ensure that there’s enough supply of public, social and specialised housing to meet the current critical need. 

It is critical that First Nations owned and operated social housing is funded as a priority if we are going to solve the homelessness crisis and face the ongoing impacts of colonisation and displacement.

Older women, disabled people, young people, and those from the LGBTIQ+ community are disproportionately at risk of homelessness. With the number of older women facing homelessness increasing drastically over the past years, the need for targeted programs and specialised housing and services is crucial.

The Greens will legislate to ensure no one evicted into homelessness.  During this time of chronic affordable housing shortages right throughout the state, the Greens will legislate to stop people being evicted if they cannot find a place they can afford to live in and so face becoming homeless.

In Sydney, house rents jumped 19% since the pandemic began which is way beyond annual wage growth - more than four times the wage increases in this time. In regional NSW, tenants are facing displacement and homelessness due to rents spiking 30 per cent since 2020, outstripping average annual wage growth up to seven times in the past year in the hardest-hit council areas.

The Greens plan to end homelessness starts with NSW committing to a Housing First approach which provides people with a home and supports them with the wrap-around services they need.

We commit to a massive investment in public, social and affordable housing, radical reform of the rental market and to fully fund the specialist homelessness services that are needed to end homelessness in NSW.

Homes for Community not Short Term Holiday Letting

It’s getting harder and harder for people to find long term rental homes due to the expanding business in short term holiday letting. Families and local workers are finding it almost impossible to find homes in key regional areas and in popular city suburbs as they are being locked out of many properties which were previously available.

Climate fueled fires and floods have devastated communities and supercharged the existing housing crisis in NSW. Short Term Holiday Rentals have left displaced communities of thousands of people unable to find affordable rental accommodation where they live.  

The Greens believe that residential properties should first and foremost be homes for people to live in. 

Currently the NSW Liberal National government has 180 day limits on non-hosted Short-term Rental Accommodation in some areas throughout NSW. But limiting the number of days per year that non-hosted properties can be leased, won’t solve the problem as these properties won’t be available for long term renters for up to 6 months each year. 

The Greens plan for Short-term Rental Accommodation will:

  • Resource local councils and communities to regulate the number and location of Short-term Rental Accommodation non-hosted dwellings in local government areas to ensure the availability and affordability of housing stock for local and long-term residents 
  • Legislate emergency provisions to ban short term rental accommodation in areas which have been given Disaster Declarations in times of natural disasters so that all homes in these areas are available to the local community for residential rental accommodation 
  • Make those profiting from non-hosted properties on the short-term rental market, register as a business and pay tax accordingly.
  • Stop non-hosted short-term letting of houses built after 1 January 2018 in an LGA until the vacancy rate hits 3%
  • Require development applications for houses to be used non-hosted for short-term holiday letting, as required for other businesses
  • Give local councils planning powers to decide when and where Short Term Holiday Letting can operate in their LGA
  • Allow councils to place a bed tax on Short Term Holiday Letting to fund local services. 
  • Require non-hosted Short Term Holiday Rentals to be used as emergency accommodation during a natural disaster.

Extreme Wealth Property Tax

Tackling economic inequality and delivering affordable housing

As part of the Greens plans to tackle growing housing inequality and the chronic lack of affordable housing in NSW, we will introduce a new land tax on high-end residential propertiesincrease and expand the existing land tax payable on investment properties and abolish the land-tax concessions being handed over to big developers under the cover of ‘build-to-rent’ schemes that don’t deliver affordable housing.

The Greens’ package will create more social and affordable housing - at the expense of those who are extremely wealthy and can absolutely afford to pay.

Our ‘Extreme Wealth Property Tax’ will require owners of residential owner-occupied properties with a land value of more than $10 million, or an improved value of more than $20 million, to pay a flat 4% land tax. The Greens are also committed to increasing the rate of land tax payable above the Premium Threshold by anyone who owns property that is not their principal place of residence from 2% to 5%1. Additionally, we will expand this tax to include any investor who owns 8 or more residential properties.

The Greens will:

  • Introduce a new land tax on owner-occupied residential properties with an unimproved land value over $10 million or an improved value over $20 million at a flat 4% of the improved value.
  • Increase the rate of land tax payable on non owner-occupied properties and land that meets the NSW government Premium Threshold to 5% from 2%, and expand the Premium Threshold to include investors who own more than 8 residential properties.
  • Abolish the build-to-rent 50% land tax concession unless these developments yield at least 30% ongoing social and affordable housing on private land and 100% on publicly owned land.
  • Maintain existing hardship deferrals for residential land and exemptions on primary production lands and conduct an independent review of other exemptions.
  • Use all revenue raised by this tax to build or purchase more social and affordable homes.