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