Sites for hundreds of homes teased out after land audit

A vacant, overgrown lot next to a railway corridor, capable of supporting up to 500 homes, is among the first government sites earmarked for housing following a land audit, as the first sod is turned on an ambitious national housing target.

The NSW government's audit has identified 44 sites, but they are being revealed in stages, to avoid distorting the market, Housing Minister Rose Jackson said.

An area in the state heritage-listed Eveleigh Railway Workshops precinct, near the well-connected Redfern train station in inner Sydney, is slated to do the heavy lifting of the first four sites revealed, providing up to 500 new dwellings, with half of them to be social and affordable housing.

NSW Minister for Housing Rose Jackson
Minister Rose Jackson says its hoped the Eveleigh development will deliver homes within two years. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

The development will likely lean more towards social housing, given demand in the area, and is hoped to deliver homes within two years, Ms Jackson said.

"Unfortunately we cannot manifest housing overnight, believe me, I've tried," she said.

Ownership is being transferred between government agencies to Homes NSW to develop with construction partners.

The NSW government recently outlined plans to deliver 30,000 homes with $5.1 billion allocated, including funding 6200 new social homes and the knock-down-rebuild of 2200 others.

A $1 billion maintenance blitz will refresh 33,500 more.

"We're bringing maintenance management back in-house to try and make sure that more of the stock we do have is livable," Ms Jackson said.

At least half the new homes are slated for people fleeing domestic and family violence.

Other sites included in the first tranche are in Sydney's northwest, southwest and inner west.

A site adjacent to the Metro line at Kellyville could deliver up to 83 new homes in the northwest, while Homes NSW has plans for 10 dwellings along a strip on Menangle Road at Camden in the southwest.

In the inner west, a tunnelling site used for the WestConnex motorway project on Parramatta Road at Camperdown has been earmarked for more than 100 homes.

The four sites were revealed on Monday, coinciding with the start of a five-year target to build 1.2 million new homes across Australia.

It marks the beginning of a long-awaited, coordinated state and federal approach to housing, Property Council of Australia chief executive Mike Zorbas said.

"Australia is land rich but government taxes on housing, slow planning systems, high borrowing and materials costs and dire skill shortages make us wooden spooners on housing supply," he said.

Under the national housing accord, NSW will deliver 3100 rental homes affordable for households on very low to moderate incomes, with 2100 already in the pipeline, out of a national target of 10,000.

Reforms to low and mid-rise housing in NSW, making dual occupancy and semi-detached dwellings permissible in more local government areas, also begin Monday, Planning Minister Paul Scully said.

"In a lot of areas, those sorts of housing types had been taken out of the system, they weren't even allowed to be submitted for consideration ... they at least need to be considered now," he said.

Another policy to increase development of high-rise dwellings near 37 identified train stations across the state has come under attack, with the opposition's housing spokesman Scott Farlow attempting to block the policy in June.

Ku-ring-gai Council, in Sydney's northwest, with four affected train stations, has taken the state government to court.

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