Housing and Homelessness


The Greens NSW believe:

1. Housing is a human right and fundamental to social and economic justice.

2. Every person has the right to affordable, accessible, safe and secure accommodation.

3. Homelessness and lack of housing among First Nations peoples and communities must be understood and addressed in the context of colonisation, dispossession, and displacement.

4. First Nations peoples' and communities’ housing needs must be met as a matter of urgency, and the planning, design and development of their housing and homelessness support services must be led by First Nations community-controlled organisations.

5. Access to secure, accessible and affordable housing is a crucial determinant of health and wellbeing, an important precondition for social participation, and should be considered as critical infrastructure.

6. Houses are first and foremost homes for people to live in.

7. Homelessness needs to be addressed via the provision of adequate public, social and affordable housing with appropriate wrap-around support services.

8. Public housing is a common good and should be maintained, extended and properly funded.

9. Social and affordable housing should be universally available as an alternative to the private housing market.

10. It is the responsibility of all levels of government to guarantee access to affordable and accessible housing to meet current need and projected demand, thus stemming the growing social inequality in Australia.

11. Access to housing should be free from discrimination. 

12. People with specific housing needs should be housed with adequate support.

13. Public housing sites must not be privatised and must yield 100 percent public, social and affordable housing.

14. Public land that is suitable for public housing should not be sold.

15. Preventing homelessness requires action to address the lack of appropriate public, social, rental and emergency housing and to provide appropriate support services for the most vulnerable in society.

16. Governments must ensure tenants have enforceable rights to safety, privacy and security of tenure, and homes that are affordable, accessible and well-maintained.

17. Tenant-led participation in decisions about social and emergency housing services is necessary for improved quality of tenant services.

18. Housing should be constructed in accordance with ecologically sustainable development principles and be climate positive and climate ready.

19. Housing should be built with the Gold Level Liveable Housing Design guidelines for gold standard accessibility standards and principles of universal design to ensure the availability of a diverse range of housing options for all people, including First Nations, older people and people with disabilities.

20. New housing developments should be close to transport, employment, community facilities, and infrastructure, and include a percentage of affordable homes.

21. Increases in the values of land and housing should be in line with increases in the general cost of living, with legislative measures to eliminate profit-driven, speculative investment in the housing sector and to limit rises in housing costs.

22. Governments should ensure housing and support services are available to meet the needs of those who are likely to face difficulties accessing housing.

23. Government taxation policies and incentives relating to housing investment should be directed toward deliverable outcomes in the provision of affordable, appropriate, and disability accessible housing, including the construction of new housing and an increase in affordable rental properties.

24. Local councils and communities should be appropriately resourced, empowered, and able to regulate, register and monitor holiday lettings in their local areas.


A. Social and Affordable Housing

The Greens NSW will work towards:

25. Creating a Public, Social and Affordable Housing Commissioner to oversee and coordinate public, social and affordable housing across government.

26. Comprehensive housing strategies for state and local governments that support affordable, accessible, well planned and designed, socially and ecologically sustainable housing stock.

27. More public and social housing, and the implementation of affordable and accessible housing targets for state and local government.

28. Government directly building homes to facilitate the mass rollout of accessible and environmentally sustainable public housing.

29. Ensuring that social housing tenants are not forced to relocate from existing localities due to redevelopment of housing estates so that their health and wellbeing is prioritised.

30. Opposing the use of Public Private Partnerships in social housing redevelopment that results in public land being privatised.

31. Broadening the eligibility and improving allocation processes for public housing as stock expands.

32. Lowering the priority age for social housing eligibility from 80 years old.

33. Disabled people currently living in homes that do not meet their accessibility standards need to be prioritised for public, social and affordable housing.

34. Ensuring additional new public housing stock includes transitional housing, as well as open space and recreational, cultural and social amenities that promote healthy lifestyles and wellbeing.

35. Ensuring that repairs, maintenance and upgrade requirements for public housing are budgeted for and completed without unnecessary delays.

36. Ending outsourcing and privatisation relating to the maintenance of public housing properties. 

37. Ensuring there is a fully funded independent complaints process for public housing residents

38. Increasing the quantity, quality and maintenance of First Nations-owned and managed social and affordable housing.

39. Increasing crisis and emergency accommodation and wrap-around services to support public and social housing tenants and homeless people.

40. Ongoing investment and support from all levels of government to increase the stock of affordable housing for low and moderate income households, including through co-operative housing and community land trusts.

41. Facilitating and increasing tenant participation in decisions about their own housing.

42. Increasing the allowable income level for eligibility for social housing and regulating rents so that they are no more than 30% of the tenant’s income.

43. Inclusionary zoning to achieve a minimum of 30% long term affordable housing in all new private residential developments.

44. Issuing government housing bonds to raise capital for public investment in social and affordable housing.

B. Homelessness

The Greens NSW will work towards:

45. An end to homelessness and housing-related poverty.

46. Establishing a specialist older persons’ housing information and support service that comprises both an early intervention and crisis response for older people at risk of homelessness.

47. Ensuring that specialist homelessness services can provide services with certainty by commissioning contracts of at least 5 years.

48. Removing arbitrary caps on length and availability of crisis and temporary accommodation for people who are homeless.

49. Increasing the provision of early intervention, support services and programs for people at risk of homelessness, as well as for people to exit homelessness and secure ongoing housing.

50. Ensure funding for secular women's-only services, refuges and shelters that specifically include trans women and disabled women.

51. Addressing the housing affordability pressures that contribute to the risk of homelessness, in order to provide structural and lasting solutions to the problem of homelessness.

52. Provision of supported permanent housing for the homeless that focuses on long-term independent housing solutions and wrap-around services, in preference to temporary and emergency services.

53. Increasing the collection of data to inform understanding of homelessness and service needs, such as street counts of rough sleepers.

54. Requiring all councils to develop a homelessness policy and protocol.

55. Supporting community organisations that provide services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

56. Ensuring the provision of housing services, both crisis and long-term, that specifically support people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status, with a particular focus on rural, regional and remote areas.

C. Private Rental Market

The Greens NSW will work towards:

57. Removing ‘no grounds’ terminations from residential tenancy legislation.

58. Implementing rent freezes and exploring rent control mechanisms in times of economic hardship to ensure rental affordability is not further diminished.

59. Ensuring that rent increases can only occur once a year, and only in line with wage growth. 

60. Ensuring that affordability is a criterion for Tribunal reviews of complaints regarding rent increases.

61. Banning the practice of rent bidding to mitigate upward pressure on rent prices.

62. Requiring NSW Fair Trading to develop a rental lease template application form and charter for real estate agents that prevents tenants from being required to provide extensive and invasive personal details, and which prioritises existing community members for re-allocation of rental resources in any given area so they can maintain community connections.

63. Upgrading minimum standards for rental housing so it is mould and damp-free, and includes ceiling insulation, heating, roof venting and waterproofing, and satisfies mandated minimum energy efficiency standards.

64. Ensuring tenants have the option of long-term rental arrangements, which can provide genuine alternatives to home ownership.

65. Improving and strengthening tenancy rights for boarders, lodgers and students living in university or college accommodation.

66. Preserving existing rights of people who continue to live under protected tenancies legislation such as the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948.

67. Removing bans on pets in rental leases.

68. Limiting the number of speculative investment properties that an individual investor can own.

69. Introducing a levy on the value of residential properties which have been vacant for more than 6 months, with some exemptions, and imposing penalties on developers who do not progress housing developments on land approved for residential development for more than 6 months.

D. Short Term Holiday Letting

The Greens will work towards: 

70. Resourcing local councils and communities to regulate the number and location of short-term holiday accommodation of non-hosted dwellings in local government areas to ensure the availability and affordability of housing stock for local residents.

71. Resourcing local councils to administer and charge for the registration of short-term holiday lettings. 

72. Ensuring that all residential non-hosted short-term holiday accommodation properties are available to the local community in times of natural disasters.

73. Identifying non-hosted Short Term Holiday Accommodation properties as businesses.

E. Sustainable Urban Design

The Greens NSW will encourage:

74. The development of genuinely environmentally sustainable communities and housing that incorporates:

  1. Onsite power generation using renewable energy.
  2. Food production and protection of arable land.
  3. Reducing waste by encouraging recycling, composting and onsite treatment for renewable energy.
  4. Higher BASIX and NABERS standards.
  5. Measures to reduce urban heat impacts, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing vegetation and green spaces, providing shade structures and water misting, reflective building materials, and incorporating sustainable and water-sensitive design practices.
  6. Recycling of black and grey water, installation of rainwater tanks, water efficient fittings, waterless urinals and composting toilets.
  7. The promotion and preservation of biodiversity and natural habitats.
  8. Measures to build communities that encourage interaction and support among residents and businesses.
  9. Transport strategies and infrastructure that encourage use of public transport, bicycles, and increased opportunities for physical fitness.
  10. Retrofitting homes to become more energy efficient as well as new and renovated homes to be climate change ready and carbon positive within a specific timeframe.

75. Including the Gold level Liveable Housing Design Guidelines as the mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code.

76. The removal of toxic materials such as asbestos from buildings where possible or, in extreme cases, dismantling and replacing highly toxic buildings.

F. Home Ownership and Access to Housing

The Greens NSW will support:

77. Governments making land available on a long-term leasehold basis at reduced cost to co-operatives and other not-for-profit entities that provide affordable housing equity products to their members. 

78. The purchase of sites or buildings for low-cost housing via Community Land Trusts.

79. Assistance to structure legal entities such as limited or mixed-equity housing co-operatives to provide and manage affordable housing.

80. Abolishing tax concessions that encourage investor speculation in housing, such as negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

81. Introducing an annual tax on luxury properties.

82. Opposing first home owners’ grants which result in inflationary impacts on housing prices.

83. Removing stamp duty, and introducing a broad-based progressive land tax system that ensures that holdings in other states and territories are considered in the tax rate that is applied.

84. A fair and rapid transition from stamp duty to land tax with means-testing to allow eligible homeowners to defer land tax.

85. Shared home ownership schemes that offer government equity and low-interest government loans for people on low incomes, and others who need it.

86. Abolishing the provision that allows 75% majority for wind-up or redevelopment of strata property, and providing access to advice and advocacy services for strata residents who are presented with wind-up proposals.

Last revised December 2022