An impossible task? The City of Sydney’s endeavours to increase its supply of affordable housing

Stream: Housing and homelessness
Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.10 pm


The high cost of accommodation in the City of Sydney local government area is making it difficult for low-income and even moderate-income households to retain their accommodation or move into the area. In response, the City of Sydney has set a target that 7.5 per cent of housing (approximately 11,000 homes) should be affordable housing by 2030 and 7.5 per cent should be social housing. There are already over 9,000 social housing dwelling in the City of Sydney, so the focus has been on building up the stock of affordable housing. The presentation first profiles the housing affordability crisis in the City of Sydney. It then examines the City’s endeavours to increase the supply of affordable housing and analyses the challenges the City faces in reaching its target. The key argument is that without significant assistance from the New South Wales government it will be impossible for the City of Sydney to reach its affordable housing target. The final section of the article draws on the financialisation of housing literature to analyse the reluctance of the state and federal governments to address the housing crisis in the City of Sydney and elsewhere.


Alan Morris (Presenter), UTS
Alan Morris is a Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney. His most recent book, Gentrification and Displacement: The Forced Relocation of Public Housing Tenants in Inner Sydney (Springer 2018) examines the build up to and the impacts of the forced displacement of the public housing tenants in Millers Point in inner Sydney. His book, End of a Dream? Housing Experiences of Older Australians (2016, CSIRO Publishing) analyses the impact of housing tenure on the life circumstances of older Australians who are dependent on the government age pension.