Forum to explore Illawarra housing stress

The dire housing affordability crisis in the Illawarra will be discussed by key industry experts at a forum in Wollongong on Thursday.

The forum, hosted by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW southern chapter, will explore the key challenges to delivering affordable housing in the region and ways to address issues using national best practice.

UDIA NSW chief executive Stephen Albin said action needed to be taken in light of statistics that showed alarming levels of housing stress in the Illawarra.

“According to a Housing NSW report, which sampled several local government areas in the Illawarra, more than half the people who own homes are in housing stress – meaning they’re paying more than 30per cent of their incomes into mortgages,” he said.

Mr Albin said tenants were also suffering high rates of housing stress.

“The sad reality is the majority of aspiring homeowners in the Illawarra cannot get off the rental roundabout because the cost of housing is wildly out of reach,” he said.

Mr Albin said it was up to the property sector to work with all levels of government and the community to seek solutions.

He said housing was expensive in the Illawarra because of a lack of supply and an inability for property builders to deliver housing at an affordable price because of high taxes and local government limitations on minimum house sizes.

The forum will take place at the Lagoon Restaurant, North Wollongong, from 1pm to 2.30pm.