CANDIDATES are promising to put more emphasis on housing if they are elected to the seat of Bathurst.
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The Bathurst electorate is in the midst of a housing crisis, a problem being experienced across regional NSW.
In the city of Bathurst alone, the median house price grew by more than 15 per cent in the 12 months to February, 2023, and renters are also struggling with a lack of stock and increased prices.
There is also a lack of social housing available to meet the increasing demand.
Incumbent Paul Toole, a Nationals Party member, said there will be "a comprehensive plan to improve housing supply and affordability in regional NSW" if the current government is re-elected.
"We know regional communities are growing. Our plan is designed to deliver the 127,000 homes needed in the regions over the next decade," he said.
The plan, he said, would involve "unlocking land and fast-tracking more homes into construction", and he noted the millions of dollars that would be invested to build homes for teachers, nurses and police, along with $120 million being invested to support local infrastructure to enable homes to be built.
Mr Toole also said there would be greater protections and support for renters if the Coalition was re-elected.
"The reforms include a new optional three to five year standard lease agreement to incentivise longer term leases, giving both parties certainty and a new rental bond rollover scheme," he said.
If the Greens are in the balance of power after the March 25 election, the party will be pushing for investment into housing, particularly social housing.
Candidate Kay Nankervis said her policies would help both home buyers and renters.
"Our policies to massively increase the supply of public, social and subsidised housing will ease some of the pressure on home prices created by the rising shortage in homes for rent and to buy," she said.
"We also want the government of the day to investigate shared equity schemes of home ownership so that those people on low incomes without hopes of otherwise saving for a mortgage deposit can begin a process of home ownership."
For renters, the Greens would press the NSW government to ban no-grounds evictions and push for laws that control rent rises.
And, if the investment into new social housing the Greens has called for is made, Ms Nankervis said it would help renters as well.
"The massive investment in social, affordable and subsidised homes we demand will increase housing supply and ease the upward pressure on rents across the Central West," she said.
If Liberal Democrat candidate Burchell Wilson is elected in Bathurst, he would take a different approach to making housing more affordable and accessible.
He said immigration could not be ignored and "is the one variable that governments can control that would have an immediate and lasting impact on the demand pressures in the housing market that are making housing unaffordable".
He emphasised, however, that his position on immigration should be seen "as a critique of immigration policy rather than immigrants themselves".
"Having flagged the elephant in the room on housing, we also need to address supply side constraints on the housing industry that limits the creation of new homes," Mr Wilson said.
"Crucially, more land needs to be released for housing and cutting red and green tape will lower the cost of construction and reduce the cost of a new dwelling.
"If you want to make housing more affordable, stop taxing it. The Liberal Democrats propose abolishing stamp duty, which will take almost $27,000 off the cost of a $700,000 home, with that amount now being available to contribute to a deposit."
Other candidates for the seat of Bathurst were also contacted to respond to questions on housing, but did not reply prior to publication.
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