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New affordable homes planned by City of Sydney Council

Sydney workers who are struggling to find housing on low incomes are set to be offered affordable new homes by the City of Sydney Council. 

People such as nurses, cleaners, security staff, teachers and police officers will be eligible for 450 new builds under the terms of the initiative, Domain reports.

Plans are in place to construct 300 units on vacant land at Green Square, with a further 150 at the Marian Street council cleaning depot at Redfern, which is expected to close soon. 

Chief executive of the City of Sydney Monica Barone said the area would lose out if people on low or moderate income cannot afford to live in the city. 

"They'll move further away to seek work nearer their new homes and we'll lose their valuable skills," she remarked. 

Key industry figures welcomed the announcement, although it was suggested that more could be done by the New South Wales (NSW) government. 

NSW Federation of Housing Associations (NSWFHA) chief executive officer Wendy Hayhurst said any affordable housing stock is a positive development. 

"But local government can only do so much and it is just a drop in the ocean of need, both in terms of the backlog of people needing this kind of accommodation and as the population of Sydney increases going into the future," she commented. 

The provision of houses to people on low income can be life-changing, particularly as housing prices are on the rise and rent costs are increasing steadily. 

There were 139,500 households in NSW social dwellings between 2014 and 2015, which represented 4.8 per cent of the total number of NSW households.

NSWFHA estimates that an increase of more than 2,000 dwellings per year for the next 25 years will be required to prevent this share from declining - and the City of Sydney Council's announcement will make a contribution to this number. 

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