The State Government must work with the City of Sydney to strengthen powers to allow councils to inspect premises where there is strong evidence of dangerous overcrowding, with safeguards to protect privacy and stop vexatious complaints. While councils can take action based on planning, building and fire safety breaches, the drawn out process gives dodgy operators time to evict tenants and hide evidence.
I’ve already asked the government to limit the number of adults to two per bedroom in apartments in line with City of Sydney 2006 consent conditions so that owners corporations can take tribunal action, and older buildings and buildings outside the LGA are covered.
The underlining problem is affordable housing – people need to live in the inner city for work and education but it is incredibly expensive. The NSW Government has reduced low cost housing provisions in developments like Barangaroo and is selling Millers Point social housing. I’ve asked the government to use Waratah Bonds to fund low cost housing, to support community housing providers and stamp out short-term rentals in residential buildings which reduce housing availability.