If the Government wants to pit developers against residents in the fight for affordable housing, I will stand with the elderly, families and the most vulnerable in our community.

I speak in debate on the Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015 which is cognate with the Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015. These bills makes a series of changes to existing laws pertaining to strata management including reducing the threshold of residents who agree to sell a building or terminate a strata scheme from 100 per cent to just 75 per cent.

Labor will seek to split these cognate bills and oppose this deeply unfair measure which undermines the basic rights of property owners—in fact, it allows private citizens to forcibly acquire other people's homes. I am deeply concerned about the impacts of such a change on vulnerable homeowners, particularly the elderly.

Many of the provisions included in the bills, however, are welcome reforms and I cautiously welcome the provision for a 2 per cent deposit to force developers to fix building defects. This may go some way towards addressing the problem of shonky developers leaving tenants with unreasonable repairs, particularly water damage.

I welcome the provisions that reduce the need for owners to seek permission for minor renovations and allow for greater pet ownership, which will create more flexibility for owners. I also welcome the provisions that reform strata management by expanding the ways in which strata committee members can participate in votes and requiring the managing agent to disclose third-party commissions. These measures will improve the management of strata committees and move towards addressing community concerns about accountability and transparency.

However, as I foreshadowed, the amendment that will have the greatest impact on residents is the provision that 75 per cent of their neighbours can force someone to sell their home, irrespective of their circumstances or how they feel about it.

The reality is that this legislation will add further uncertainty for home owners in what is already a volatile property market, and at the same time it will strengthen the hand of developers. The people who will be most affected are the elderly, the poor and families; they will be forced to sell their homes against their wishes to developers who want to make a quick buck. The Opposition will not support legislation that tips the scales so heavily towards developers.

For vulnerable people, the safety and security of home ownership is paramount to their sense of financial and emotional wellbeing. Changing the threshold of residents agreeing to sell a building to just 75 per cent undermines the fundamental foundations of home ownership.

It effectively allows contracts to be breached retrospectively. It robs people of their security by giving their neighbours the right to force them to sell their home.

There will be no guarantee for elderly owners forced to sell that they will be able to remain in the neighbourhood to which they have contributed so much. I regularly meet elderly residents terrified that they will have to move to make way for the Government's plans to redevelop Parramatta Road or the Sydenham-Bankstown line.

They have lived in their homes for decades, worked hard in their jobs, volunteered for their community and raised kids. They have given back to the community and made their neighbourhood the wonderful place in which they live today. They have saved money and worked hard for their retirement, and often they are relying on remaining in their homes to be financially secure.

They have banked on certainty: the certainty they can stay in their homes, manage their finances and benefit from the community that they helped to build. It is not only financial security they are after; it is also emotional security and wellbeing. Their doctors, social groups and friends are in the local area.

Sydney's housing affordability crisis means that if they are forced to move they are increasingly unlikely to be able to buy another home in their local area. Let there be no doubt about this: The bill will not only evict elderly and vulnerable people from their homes but also uproot them from their community at the point in their lives when they need it most.

For families with children, this uprooting has additional consequences by forcing kids out of their schools and day care centres. As any parent knows, finding new childcare places where very few are available is extremely stressful.

The most vulnerable people in our community need certainty and a sense of security. This legislation will deliver the opposite; it will catapult the elderly, poor and families into a volatile housing market against their wishes. The Government says that it will introduce measures to protect the vulnerable. However, a phone line simply does not cut it; it will not change the fact that this legislation is deeply unfair and amounts to an attack on individual legal rights.

Affordable housing is a critical priority demanding leadership and action. In my electorate of Summer Hill residents understand the need for development that extends the dream of home ownership to everyone. However, they also understand that development must not come at the expense of the most vulnerable.

The Government says that this legislation will improve housing affordability. However, there is little evidence to suggest that that will occur. As a result of this legislation, developers could purchase units to achieve the required 75 per cent threshold, flip the properties with cosmetic renovations and sell them at a profit.

There is no provision designed to ensure that developers increase density or diversify the housing stock to include affordable housing. There is no public benefit. In fact, a developer could take a block of eight older, low-cost apartments and turn them into four luxury, high-cost apartments. There is nothing in the legislation to prevent that. We are likely see a reduction in the number of rental properties and an increase in the number of people looking for access to social housing and joining waiting lists that are already far too long.

People in my electorate and across New South Wales want to see real plans that genuinely address housing affordability without destroying communities. They want visionary plans that meet the needs of a growing city but which are sympathetic to the unique character of our suburbs. They want sympathetic development that represents a genuine attempt to provide affordable housing but which does not simply line the pockets of developers.

The Government's proposed massive land use changes along the Sydenham to Bankstown line, with increased density slated for Marrickville and Dulwich Hill, have been met with scepticism given that there are few details about plans for housing affordability, good, sustainable design or required community amenities such as schools and childcare centres or much-needed open space. The same is true of the Government's proposed urban renewal plan for Parramatta Road.

Residents across my electorate are furious that the Government has misled them over WestConnex, with the revelation that the tunnel was rerouted from under Parramatta Road to allow for greater density so that mass high-rise apartments with deep underground carparks can be built without conflicting with the tunnel. The tunnel will now go directly under some homes.

Many residents are understandably sceptical that the Government has moved forward with these projects with little care for community consultation and in the face of fierce opposition.

The community is rightly sceptical of a Government that consistently puts the interests of developers ahead of communities' and residents' interests.

This legislation exacerbates those fears.

While Labor supports the Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015, the Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015, with its 75 per cent proposal, amounts to the Baird Government's once again prioritising developer interests over the rights of residents.

If the Government wants to pit developers against residents in the fight for affordable housing, I will stand with the elderly, families and the most vulnerable in our community.