Housing affordability problem for teachers

The issue of affordable housing will be raised at Federation’s Annual Conference, July 2-4 when General Secretary John Dixon will present a position paper as part of the debate.

Mr Dixon said preliminary discussions have been held with First State Super and Teachers Mutual Bank about proposals that would enable teachers to access affordable housing in the areas in which they work.

In NSW, public education teachers along with other public sector workers have had their pay capped at 2.5 per cent, a fraction more than CPI — this has not kept pace with property prices in many areas of Sydney or NSW generally.

As a consequence, teachers and other public sector workers endure long commuting times or choking rents or mortgage repayments.

The issue has also been raised by the Federation at Unions NSW meetings. Housing affordability is also an issue for teachers in the United Kingdom — teachers are among workers accessing crisis housing shelters. The issue of affordable housing for “essential workers” in the Sydney metro area is gaining some political traction with political parties such as the Greens and the ALP.

On 28 May, NSW Labor announced a policy that at least 25 per cent of new properties constructed on government-owned land would be set aside as affordable housing and 15 per cent of dwellings on privately–owned land zoned for housing would be designated for affordable housing.

The Labor Party announced an audit of publicly-owned land with a view to creating an Affordable Housing Land Registrar and said it would refocus urban growth to prioritise the development of affordable social and mixed housing.

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