Greens want Empty Homes Levy to help fund local community housing

MEDIA RELEASE by Parramatta Greens : 6 August 2017

Parramatta Greens launch Empty Homes Levy to build local community housing

The Parramatta Greens today launched a new plan that will free up local rental accommodation and raise more than $5.0 million per year for the City of Parramatta Council to spend on community housing. The most recent Census data shows more than 5,450 homes in Parramatta are unoccupied. That’s almost 7% of properties, and it’s a troubling figures given the current housing crisis. The Greens’ Empty Homes Levy would enable Parramatta City 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 Parramatta, where the median price for houses is $675,000 and for units $609,000. No wonder that homelessness is increasing. The Greens candidate for Parramatta Ward in the upcoming council elections, Phil Bradley, said:

Something is deeply wrong when 7% of homes in Parramatta are unoccupied, but many families cannot find a place to live.

I’m excited to be putting a local plan in place to help with housing affordability.

Housing is far too expensive, especially for young people and local councils need to be part of the solution.

Genuine holiday homes that are regularly occupied is one thing, but this levy only targets long term vacant properties. We can then build housing where it’s needed at a scale and type that protects local amenity and reflects local need.

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 to 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

Media Contacts:

Phil Bradley 0425 265 170

David Shoebridge 0408 113 952

author: Phil Bradley
description: Phil Bradley, local Parramatta Council candidate for the Greens, and David Shoebridge, put foward a proposal to apply a levy to owners of unoccupied homes.