MEDIA RELEASE: Cost of Living Budget leaves out housing costs for renters

Additional funding to support Aboriginal housing and people who are homeless is good news but the NSW Budget does not include new investment in more social and affordable housing for NSW renters in housing stress, the state’s peak not-for-profit housing body said today.

The Budget announced today includes an additional $61million over 4 years for homelessness programs, and $33.1 million over 4 years to support Aboriginal housing.

However, CHIA NSW CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said the NSW Government had missed the opportunity to reinvest the $18.25 billion it has reaped in stamp duty windfalls since 2011 in providing the 12,500 social and affordable homes NSW will need each year to keep up
population growth.

“Homelessness support services aren’t effective if people don’t also have secure permanent homes to go to,” Ms Hayhurst said.
“And extra funding for childcare, education and health will only go so far if children don’t have a safe, secure home to go to at the end of the day, or people leaving hospital can’t recover safely at home.

“This Budget had a chance to future-proof our housing system by encouraging investment in the social and affordable housing we’ll need in the future as Sydney’s population continues to grow.”

Ms Hayhurst recognised the NSW Government could not solve the problem on its own – after the Federal Government’s Budget failed to deliver funding to kick start greater investment in social and affordable housing from bodies such as superannuation funds.

“State Government housing programs such as the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF), Communities Plus, and Future Directions are good programs but will not deliver the scale of
new housing needed,” she said.

“We need all levels of government to work together on solutions –and a strategy that includes a suite of measures, from planning reforms, to access to government land, and direct subsidies to close the funding gap for community housing providers.”

Key facts

  • NSW needs 12,500 social and affordable homes a year for people on low and middle incomes.
  • Homelessness has increased 48% in Sydney and 37% in NSW over five years (Census).
  • The number of social housing properties has not kept up with population growth – over the last 20 years there has been a 4% increase in properties against a 30% increase in
    households in need (AHURI).
  • 60,000 people are on waiting lists for social housing in NSW.
  • In April, there was not a single property affordable for a young family on a minimum wage to rent within 20km of Sydney’s CBD – and the situation as almost as bad in most
    regional centres (Anglicare 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot).
  • In Sydney average house prices are still roughly 12 times average incomes.

Media contact: Jenny Stokes, 0478 504 280

*NB The NSW Federation of Housing Associations is now CHIA NSW