Local Government NSW has welcomed the NSW Government’s Low Cost Loans Initiative announced and called for it to be extended to all councils.
The scheme allows councils to borrow money from TCorp, at a subsidised cost, for infrastructure that supports new housing supply.
Under the initiative the NSW Government will refund 50% of the cost of council’s interest payments on loans that enable housing developments to proceed – such as roads, sports fields, community centres, drainage, playgrounds, or land acquisition.
LGNSW President, Linda Scott said this is good news for councils that qualify for the scheme.
“You can’t have more housing and more people without providing more infrastructure – and delivering this infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges councils face over the next two decades,” Cr Scott said.
“For the councils that can access the scheme, the Low Cost Loans program will give them greater financial flexibility and the ability to fast-track the delivery of planned infrastructure to support growth in their communities.
“New housing must be supported by new roads, playgrounds, open spaces, libraries, additional wastewater and recycling services – all of which must be funded by councils and their ratepayers.
“Halving the cost of interest paid on loans, will help councils deliver more local housing and infrastructure sooner.”
Cr Linda Scott said that while the scheme would be welcomed by many councils – some councils would miss out.
The subsidised loans are only open to councils that meet the State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ requirements, and have Local Environmental Plans that contain adequate residential zoning that aligns with strategic planning targets such as Regional or District Plans.
“It’s extremely disappointing that councils deemed “unfit” under the Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ amalgamation process will miss out,” Cr Linda Scott said.
“LGNSW will be advocating for all NSW councils to have access to subsidised loans that support housing supply and infrastructure.”
Cr Linda Scott encouraged all eligible councils to consider taking advantage of the scheme.