Illawarra Greens launch empty homes levy to build local community houseing - Illawarra Greens

Illawarra Greens launch empty homes levy to build local community houseing

The Illawarra Greens today launched a new plan that will free up local rental accommodation and raise between $4.5 million and $15 million per year for Wollongong Council to spend on community housing. 
The most recent Census data shows more 6 than,000 homes in Wollongong council area are unoccupied. That’s 8% of properties, and it’s a troubling figures given the current housing crisis.
Illawarra Greens launch Empty Homes Levy to build local community housing
MEDIA RELEASE
10 August 2017
 
The Illawarra Greens today launched a new plan that will free up local rental accommodation and raise between $4.5 million and $15 million per year for Wollongong Council to spend on community housing. 
The most recent Census data shows more 6 than,000 homes in Wollongong council area are unoccupied. That’s 8% of properties, and it’s a troubling figures given the current housing crisis.
The Greens’ Empty Homes Levy would enable Wollongong Council to charge an additional levy on the owners of untenanted investment properties, with the revenue being invested in local housing projects.  There is huge need for affordable housing in Wollongong, where the median house price is now over $800,000 and homelessness is also increasing.
Greens Mayoral candidate in the upcoming council elections, Mithra Cox said:
“Something is deeply wrong when 8% of homes in Wollongong LGA are unoccupied, but many families cannot find a place to live.
“We are pleased to be putting a local plan in place to help with housing affordability, and will work with other councillors to improve housing affordability in Wollongong.
“Housing too expensive, and local councils can be part of the solution.
“We can use the m money raised from this levy to build housing where it’s needed at a scale and type that protects local amenity and reflects local need,” Ms Cox said.
 Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"The Greens believe in local government and we want to give councils the financial capacity to build affordable housing where it's most needed in their communities.
"We want to change housing from being an investment vehicle for the wealthy to being a human right for everyone.
 "We know that there are plenty of investors holding properties empty for financial reasons so we need change the financial picture and the empty homes levy does just that. 
 "If landlords want to keep investment properties empty then they should pay extra rates to the local community to allow affordable housing to be built for those who need it.  
 "With more than 280,000 empty homes across NSW this is a levy that can deliver millions for our local council and every cent will be used to build affordable housing.
"We don’t pretend that the empty homes levy alone will fix housing affordability but every home we build makes a world of difference to those who live there," Mr Shoebridge said.
Attached: Empty Homes Levy policy detail
Media Contacts: David Shoebridge 0408 113 952 / Mithra Cox, 0425 351 844