Community housing’s record $1.2b investment in housing shows NSW Government the way forward for stimulus

The community housing sector has invested a record $1.2 billion in new social and affordable homes in NSW, industry data released today by the Community Housing Industry Association NSW shows.

The level of investment represents the biggest ever financial investment from non-profit NSW community housing providers and demonstrates the positive social returns that can be built with COVID-19 stimulus from the Federal and NSW Government.

In NSW, the community housing sector has grown from delivering 68 new dwellings in 2012 to over 3,200 by 2020.

Community Housing Industry Association NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said the report highlighted the achievements, capacity and capability of the community housing sector in NSW.

“Our sector is a huge job creator. Over the last 10 years we’ve created ongoing roles in construction, maintenance, property development, tenancy management and administration. Community housing providers now manage over 50,000 homes in NSW,” said Mr Degotardi.

“A targeted social housing stimulus is not only viable but would create and sustain new jobs, grow the economy and provide new homes for NSW families,” stated Mr Degotardi.

CHIA NSW is called on the NSW Government to implement stimulus policies to boost social housing stock, supporting the NSW families and the economy.

‘This report underlines the value of community housing to the NSW economy. The not-for-profit community housing sector has invested over 1.2 billion dollars across 45 local government areas, developing over 3,200 homes in the process’, said Mr Degotardi.

‘Community housing has proven beyond any doubt that we can deliver new jobs, new homes, and new investment. With targeted stimulus from government, we can support new construction jobs and support more vulnerable NSW families,’ said Mr Degotardi.

Policies that should be considered as part of a targeted social housing stimulus include:

  • A NSW Government Social and Affordable Housing Capital Fund to support the community housing sector to create more social and affordable housing and begin addressing current social and affordable housing shortfalls.
  • Funding from the NSW Government to address the maintenance backlog across the Government’s social housing dwellings, reducing long term maintenance costs and providing rapid stimulus to the construction sector.
  • Commitment to a mandated 30% social and affordable housing development target on government land. This commitment would unlock new opportunities for projects from the community housing sector, investors, and developers supporting new jobs and providing long term benefits to the community.

Read CHIA NSW’s Community Housing in NSW Development Snapshot

RELEASE ENDS

Media contact: Jenny Stokes, 0478 504 280

NSW Housing Strategy needs to seize once-in-a-generation investment opportunity

NSW’s peak community housing body, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), today welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Housing Strategy Discussion Paper, while noting more action is needed to not miss a once-in-a-generation chance to reshape NSW’s housing infrastructure.

‘The release of the discussion paper is a good first step in addressing NSW’s housing priorities. It follows important and welcome changes by the NSW Government in planning policy and social housing lease arrangements which will aid the State’s economic recovery,’ said CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi.

‘We are looking forward to making a contribution to this Strategy and working with the NSW Government to ensure community housing is recognised as an important part of the State’s housing mix’, said Mr Degotardi.

The Strategy Discussion Paper clearly states that social housing supply was not keeping pace with rising demand. CHIA NSW stated that with forecasts revealing that over 43,000 homes will now not be built nationally over the next 12 months alone[1], there was an urgent need for the State government to invest in new social housing.

‘It’s clear that private investment in housing is falling away fast. Now is the ideal time for government stimulus that can fund the housing sector where private investment has dropped away,’ said Mr Degotardi.

‘A broad strategic discussion on how to set the future priorities for housing in NSW is critically important.  But the short term economic, employment and housing stress issues exacerbated by the pandemic need immediate attention.

“We need the Government to move quickly to fund social housing as part of its economic stimulus plans. Every dollar invested in social housing will generate $1.30 through new economic activity and job creation[2].  Social housing infrastructure is one of the best investments our State can make,’ said Mr Degotardi.

“Now is the time for social housing stimulus. The Federal Government missed the opportunity but direct financial assistance from the NSW Government can kick start a construction jobs boom in NSW and house more NSW families who are struggling with the financial impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[1] Master Builders Association, https://www.masterbuilders.com.au/Newsroom/Housing-Sector-Devastated-By-COVID-19-Impact

[2] KPMG, ‘Social Housing Initiative Review’ (2012), http://www.nwhn.net.au/admin/file/content101/c6/social_housing_initiative_review.pdf

Community housing supports NSW Government’s homelessness package, but urges social housing stimulus

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW, the NSW peak body for the community housing sector, has stated its members stand ready to support the NSW Government’s historic $36 million package to alleviate homelessness.

The NSW Government’s Together Home program will aim to purchase units from the private market and convert them to social housing units, with community housing providers to be involved in the process of managing associated properties.

Community Housing Industry Association NSW CEO Mark Degotardi welcomed the Together Home package and said members would be ready to assist the NSW Government.

“This package is a strong step forward in nullifying the negative social impacts of COVID-19, we welcome the NSW Government’s investment in tackling these issues.”, said Mr Degotardi.

“Community housing providers now manage over 50,000 homes in NSW. Many of our tenants have gone through tough times, so community housing providers have deep expertise in working with tenants to turn their lives around. That journey starts with secure housing for many families and we will support the NSW Government’s efforts to make that a reality,” said Mr Degotardi.

The peak body also called for further stimulus in social housing to secure housing for NSW families in unaffordable and insecure circumstances.

“To make the effort to fight homelessness truly effective, the NSW Government needs to invest in more social housing as a key stimulus measure that creates more secure homes, new jobs in construction and new economic activity,” stated Mr Degotardi.

“The community housing sector has shovel-ready projects on its portfolios that with NSW Government support could drive new investment for our State and create the secure housing we desperately need.”

RELEASE ENDS

Media contact: Jenny Stokes, 0478 504 280

LAHC CHP Asset Management Allocation Policy

The NSW Land and Housing Corporation has developed a new policy framework to guide the allocation of property management of LAHC properties to registered community housing providers.

The LAHC Community Housing Provider Asset Management Allocation Policy will provide a consistent allocation approach for small-scale management allocations, which can be delivered more efficiently and at a reduced cost to both government and the community housing sector.

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Social housing fast track pilot will get homes on the ground – but must support real investment

Plans by the NSW government to fast track social housing will boost construction jobs and help fill the growing gap for affordable homes in NSW, The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) said today.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said the pilot program recognised the urgent need to get more social housing on the ground as quickly as possible to help the state rebuild from COVID-19 and provide homes for a growing number of people in NSW who are struggling in the private rental market.

He called for the pilot to be extended to help not for profit housing providers deliver shovel ready projects in the pipeline.

“We know that communities desperately need social and affordable housing for people locally, in regional NSW as well as in Sydney” Mr Degotardi said.

“Fast tracking social housing projects as a partnership between the construction industry and community housing sector would be a win for everyone – creating local jobs and homes that are guaranteed to be affordable and stay affordable for local people to rent.

“It shows the NSW government is beginning to recognise the urgency of the housing situation now and in coming months.”

Mr Degotardi said partnerships with the not for profit sector would ensure new social housing and affordable rental homes are purpose built, well designed and constructed at a lower cost to taxpayers.

However, he said the pilot itself is not enough, with more investment in social housing required to get homes on the ground where they are desperately needed.

“Modelling by Equity Economics has already shown that 16,000 more people are facing homelessness due to job losses from COVID-19 and a further 85,000 construction jobs are at risk over the next 18 months.[i]

“Community housing providers are job creators.  In partnership with Government, we can create even more construction jobs and low-income rental housing properties – a win for the NSW economy and a win for struggling communities across the State.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[i] Equity Economics Report, ‘Supporting Economic Recovery in NSW’, https://www.ncoss.org.au/sites/default/files/public/policy/Equity%20Economics%20-%20Supporting%20Economic%20Recovery%20in%20NSW_05092020.pdf

NSW social housing investment key to new jobs and stopping rise in homelessness

COVID-19 has placed thousands of families in NSW at risk of homelessness, with new economic modelling released today highlighting the immediate need for social housing stimulus, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has said.

16,000 more people in NSW are now facing homelessness due to unemployment from COVID-19 according to research produced by Equity Economics[1]. A further 85,000 residential construction sector jobs are at risk over the next 18 months, with 97,000 Small and Medium Enterprises risking closure due to slowed investment.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said targeted social housing stimulus funding could reduce unemployment and homelessness arising from the economic fallout of COVID-19.

“The NSW Government has launched bold policies to expedite planning processes and new arrangements to support housing. These are very welcome and important reforms.  What is needed now is further government investment and reforms to spur the next phase of growth and recovery to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on our state’s economy and communities.”

“Community housing providers are job creators,” said Mr Degotardi. “Thousands of jobs have been created over the last decade by over community housing providers building, maintaining and managing homes for more than 50,000 NSW households. In partnership with  government, we can continue to deliver both homes for people who need them and the economic stimulus that will help our state recover from this crisis,’ said Mr Degotardi.

CHIA NSW is calling for the establishment of a dedicated Social and Affordable Housing Capital Fund to support at least 5,000 homes being built per annum in NSW, to support new jobs and expand social housing supply for families.

“Funding new housing is one of the best investments our governments can make,” said Mr Degotardi. “For every dollar invested in social housing, 1.3 times that amount is returned to the economy.[2] This modelling shows that building 5,000 social housing units would support 18,000 jobs across NSW. That means new jobs for NSW, more certainty for businesses, and more families in secure homes.”

“With the housing market struggling under the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, this is the ideal time for governments to take the lead and invest in our housing supply. Without new projects in the pipeline, the social housing waitlist of 60,000 households will only grow, while those still waiting suffer the negative social impacts of unaffordable, insecure housing.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

 

Appendix – CHIA NSW Policy Recommendations:

CHIA NSW is calling for:

1) Establish a Social and Affordable Housing Capital Fund to grow the supply of social housing by 5,000 per annum, and similar for affordable housing, starting with options to permanently house those in extended temporary arrangements through:

  • The identification and purchase of vacant, or soon-to-be completed, developments for conversion to social or affordable housing
  • Identification of government-owned properties for conversion to social housing

2) Prioritise and fund a Housing First approach that provides tailored support, alongside social housing.

3) Expand the Community Housing Leasing Program to increase the number of properties available through community housing providers and urgently respond to the growing demand for permanent housing options for people in temporary accommodation.

4) Build on the $60 million already allocated to the maintenance of ageing social housing stock, by allocating additional funds to support a comprehensive maintenance program across the entire NSW social housing portfolio

5) Mandated targets for social and affordable housing in new residential developments of up to 15% on private land and 30% on government land.

6) A National Housing Strategy that articulates roles and responsibilities, the contribution of the Federal Government to the Social and Affordable Housing Capital Fund and other levers available at the national level to complement and bolster state initiatives.

[1] Report commissioned by NSW Council of Social Services, CHIA NSW, Homelessness NSW and the Tenants’ Union NSW.

[2] KMPG Social Housing Initiative Review, page 2, September 2012, http://www.nwhn.net.au/admin/file/content101/c6/social_housing_initiative_review.pdf

Anglicare rental report exposes need for more social and affordable homes in NSW

Today’s Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot again highlights the urgent need to provide more social and affordable homes as communities in NSW recover from the combined impact of COVID-19 and bushfires.

The snapshot released today found that in Greater Sydney alone, just 1% of private rentals are affordable for individuals on the lowest incomes, even with temporary increases to the Jobseeker Allowance and other government support.[1] Regional areas are also facing a rental crisis with the Central Coast, Hunter, and Mid Coast only having a combined 44 affordable properties available to households on income support[2]

CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi, said the NSW government and the Federal government must work together with local councils to increase investment in social and affordable homes because the private rental market is not providing enough homes people can afford.

“People on low incomes, particularly young people and women are already struggling’. They will disproportionately feel the impacts of job losses in the COVID induced economic downturn,” Mr Degotardi said.

“The combined impact of COVID-19, bushfires and flooding has created financial distress for an unprecedented number of people in metropolitan areas and regional NSW.

“NSW already has shortage of almost 200,000 social and affordable homes and 60,000 households waiting for social housing. The evidence of housing stress is piling up and urgent government intervention is desperately needed.” Mr Degotardi said.

CHIA NSW is calling for the NSW Government to introduce a Capital Fund and planning reforms that will provide at least 5,000 social housing properties a year over the next decade, as well as more affordable housing.

Mr Degotardi said predicted rent drops in coming months would not compensate for the increased number of people experiencing income reductions and job losses.

“The current housing market will not meet the need of thousands of people in NSW who lost their homes in the summer bushfires or their jobs as a result of COVID-19.  Inadequate investment in the supply of social and affordable housing has left these people with nowhere to go.  Today’s report once again exposes a broken housing system in NSW” Mr Degotardi said.

“The NSW Government must take this opportunity to fix the housing system and make sure it meets the meets the needs of everyone in NSW over the long term.

“Not for profit community housing providers have projects ready to go now, with government funding we can provide thousands of homes for NSW families, dramatically boost investment, create new construction jobs, and kickstart the NSW economy’s recovery from COVID-19,’” Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[1] Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, Greater Sydney and Illawara, Table 2, https://anglicareras.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/nsw-sydney-and-illawarra.pdf

[2] Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, NSW – Hunter Region, Newcastle and Central Coast, Table 1, https://anglicareras.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/nsw-hunter-region-and-newcastle.pdf

COVID recovery housing spend could address decades of chronic housing stress

28 April 2020

The peak body for community housing in NSW is urging the NSW Government to accept the recommendations of a Land and Housing Corporation briefing paper that earmarks a $500 million government spend on housing as part of a state-wide stimulus package.

While the proposed stimulus is geared at spurring economic recovery post COVID-19, the spend would address the state’s chronic housing issues that existed long before the pandemic, including a shortfall of 200,000 social and affordable homes and over 60,000 households on the social housing waitlist.

“Reinvigorating the economy with government spending on essential public goods is exactly what our state needs as it emerges from this crisis,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“This plan from the Land and Housing Corporation would address years of underspending on social housing in NSW.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 is disproportionately hitting low income workers, families and older people below the pension age – people who are already typical community housing tenants. These are the people who our industry has been helping into affordable homes for decades. With the NSW Government’s support, we can help many more find their feet after this pandemic.”

Earlier this week CHIA NSW joined NCOSS to request NSW establish Social an Affordable Housing Capital Fund that would finance 5,000 social housing properties a year for the next 10 years, as well as additional affordable rental housing, to meet the state’s dire housing needs.

The report confirmed again that the private housing market has been unable to meet the demand for affordable housing.

Government spending is needed to ensure everyone in NSW has access to a secure home that they can afford.

Mr Degotardi said the proposed housing-focused stimulus would be a welcome first step.

“Community housing providers are ready to step in,” he said.

“They have projects ready to go – they just need funding to ensure this pipeline doesn’t dry up and they can continue providing the affordable homes that the people of NSW desperately need.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965