HUNDREDS of families and single households in Parramatta are set to benefit in a landmark move by the Minns Labor government to address the state’s housing supply crisis.
Premier Chris Minns, accompanied by planning and public spaces minister Paul Scully, Parramatta MP Donna Davis and Parramatta Lorn Mayor Pierre Esber announced the state-led rezoning of the city at a conference with Housing Now! advocates at Rosehill on Thursday, October 26.
Mr Minns said the city’s north precinct, which included a stretch of busy Church Street along the planned light rail route, has been earmarked for hundreds of housing units built close to public transport, jobs, schools, parks and amenities.
“Suburbs like Parramatta already have the infrastructure and amenities to support more homes, that’s why we’re putting our focus into Church Street North to secure more housing,” Mr Minns said.
Housing in NSW, particularly in the Greater Sydney area has not kept up with the population growth and is one the biggest challenges for his government, Mr Minns said.
This city where Mr Minns will begin to deliver his government’s response to a housing shortage within Greater Sydney region is currently home to nearly 275,000 people.
The projections for new homes urgently needed across the state’s major cities and regions stands at 375,000 more within the next 10 years.
This housing shortfall has been squeezing out families and individuals, whether homebuyers, renters or owners, of a secured roof over their heads, Mr Minns said.
Mr Scully said the state government initiated the rezoning of the precinct because it is “an extremely well-positioned area and is well-equipped to accommodate more families and individuals who want to live closer to work, transport, schools, and the Parramatta CBD.”
“We’re focused on increasing housing and affordability in great locations. This announcement ensures there will soon be hundreds of new homes available right on the doorstep of the Parramatta CBD,” said Minister Scully.
Ms Davis, the city’s former lord mayor, described the north precinct as an area with a history having been a settlement for the Burramattagal Indigenous clans since Sydney’s earliest days.
Heritage to be addressed
She said it was necessary that the precinct’s rezoning plans “will see that our heritage and amenity will be addressed in plans for our future while respecting our past.”
She said it was important to keep it mind as “the next chapter in the precinct’s evolution which will provide the planning framework for generations to come.”
Lord Mayor said Council “applauds the NSW Government for listening to our calls for faster action on the delivery of the Parramatta North Precinct.
“This precinct offers potential to unlock much-needed housing in the heart of our city adjacent to a light rail stop and be a leading example of urban renewal.”
At the Rosehill Gardens’ housing conference, Housing Now chair and Business Western Sydney executive director David Borger said the current housing shortage indicated perennial “system failure” that needed a radical “shift in the mindset” of baby boomers resisting smaller housing blocks.
“There is no doubt that older generations have been traditionally resistant to new housing and this needs to end,” Mr Borger, a former NSW housing minister, said.
“The reality is that the golden generation of property ownership has been kind to baby boomers and their parents, but not to those below them.
“The Premier’s support for the missing middle of housing such as terraces and smaller apartment blocks is a strong endorsement of the Housing Now! Alliance and our ideas to get more housing built.
“We need everything, everywhere, all at once to respond to the housing crisis and that’s what we will be advocating for through our conference.”
The rezoning is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and provide jobs for locals.
Nearby green space includes Belmore Park, including Richie Benaud Oval, Prince Alfred Square and River Foreshore Reserve which runs along the north bank of the Parramatta River.
Among the nearest schools are Parramatta North Public School, Bayanami Public School, Macarthur Girls High School and Arthur Phillip High School.
A portion of the north precinct in Parramatta City rezoned for urgent housing for hundreds of households.
NSW premier Chris Minns with Parramatta Lord Mayor Pierre Esber, Housing Now chair and Western Sydney Business executive director David Borger, Parramatta MP Donna Davis and planning and public spaces minister Paul Scully at Rosehill Gardens housing conference on Thursday, October 26, 2023. Photo by Trish Marinozzi