20 September 2023

The housing crisis is a central theme of NSW Labor’s first Budget but the specifics on how new supply will actually be delivered remain unclear and the Government’s pursuit of its so-called rental reforms are a continuation of the “data-ignorant” approach that has exacerbated the rental crisis, says the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW).

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin says: “In this Budget, it is clear Government recognises the critical housing shortage in the state, including social and affordable housing, and the need for action on new housing construction.

“However, the glaring omission is the detail on how this will be achieved. The $224 million for the Essential Housing Package and the minimal commitment of a few thousand public housing dwellings over the long-term won’t scratch the surface in the context of the enormity of the housing crisis.

“Tangible and significant supply outcomes are needed but they have not been forthcoming.

“To encourage new housing supply, we need to incentivise developers to proceed with projects, noting the challenges of rising materials and labour costs.

“Tax reform is the clear opportunity to improve new project feasibility. Holding local Governments to account to meet the required new housing targets in their areas is another opportunity.

“We must also take a new evidence-based approach to addressing the rental crisis. Ignoring the data has not worked. It has led to an environment in which investment in residential property is discouraged.

“It’s important to remember that the provision of social and affordable housing is Government’s job. It’s not the job of private investors.

“The impact of tenant-centric legislation has been to vastly shrink the rental pool. More investors are selling their properties and as such, tenants have less choice.

“Regrettably, this Budget appears to commit the Government to the existing data-ignorant approach which has made the rental crisis so much worse.

“We need to flip the script and begin to encourage investors to make properties available for rent. This demands a reconsideration of current proposed reforms which seek to divide the interests of tenants and landlords.

“Ideally, the tenant-landlord relationship should be symbiotic, based on fairness and respect, yet Government’s reforms promote an adversarial environment in which disputes are encouraged, which harms everyone involved.

“It’s worth noting that if people are encouraged to invest in residential property, this will improve feasibility for new development projects.

“The REINSW is ready to work with Government and all stakeholders on an evidence-based approach to the housing crisis,” Mr McKibbin says.

For more information, please contact:
Tim McKibbin | 0415 931 013 | [email protected]

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) is the peak industry body for real estate and property professionals in NSW. It represents more than 2000 agencies across residential sales, property management, commercial, strata management, buyers’ agency, agency services and auctioneering. Established in 1910, REINSW works to improve the standards, professionalism and expertise of its members to continually evolve and innovate the industry. It lobbies the government and industry on behalf of members, develops new products and services to benefit agencies and professionals, and offer training and ongoing professional development. For more information, visit