Category Archives: Media Release

CHIA NSW 2019 Election Platform – Housing Our Community

The shortage of social and affordable housing in NSW means that many households are paying far more in rent than they can afford and are unable to secure their own home. Solving this problem requires a long term housing strategy, actively led and invested in by the government.

CHIA NSW’s Election Platform sets out a pathway to more social and affordable housing.  This NSW election, community housing providers are asking for all parties to support a series of actions, including the development of a comprehensive housing strategy backed by a commitment to new supply targets and a dedicated housing minister.

Download a copy of the CHIA NSW 2019 Election Platform – Housing Our Community

Download a copy of the NSW Housing Story Infographic

See Media Release: CHIA NSW election platform 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: Good Growth Alliance: A Better Sydney and Stronger NSW

Sydney’s peak industry bodies and NGO leaders have joined forces to promote the benefits of well-planned growth in Sydney and wider NSW.

The Property Council, the Committee for Sydney and the Sydney Business Chamber together with the Community Housing Industry Association of NSW, Homelessness NSW and Shelter NSW have formed the Good Growth Alliance.
The Alliance has written an open letter to the NSW Premier and NSW Leader of the Opposition to call for a sustainable plan for growth in Sydney, based on transparent, consistent and evidence-based decision-making by political parties, local government and urban planners.

The Good Growth Alliance has ten proposals which it believes will create a better Sydney and a stronger NSW.
This includes holding a Good Growth Summit within 100 days of the 2019 NSW Election, so communities, industry and government can collaborate more strongly on making Sydney a sustainable, liveable global city by 2050.
The nine other points include:

  1. Boosting housing and driving a renewed policy focus by developing an evidence-based NSW Housing Strategy and funded action plan to increase the supply of social, affordable, key worker and ‘at market’ housing including build-to-rent.
  2. Taking the lead on housing issues by appointing a Minister for Housing to deliver the NSW Housing Strategy and establish a multi-sector advisory council.
  3. Delivering at least 5000 additional social housing dwellings per year for the next 10 years by introducing a Capital Growth Fund to increase the supply of social and affordable housing.
  4. Reducing homelessness by committing to an action plan that addresses the key causes of homelessness with the goal of ending homelessness in NSW by 2028.
  5. Planning for growth and equity by ensuring new communities have the same access to public transport, employment, education and community infrastructure as established communities.
  6. Supporting better innovation and design in housing by establishing a housing innovation fund and investigate regulatory barriers to delivering innovative models and design options that improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of living.
  7. Delivering a 30-minute city by identifying existing and new public transport corridors and station precincts that can accommodate the needs and aspirations of existing communities and support the development of compact residential, commercial, community, education and health hubs.
  8. Inspiring community and industry confidence in the planning system by introducing enforceable key performance indicators for Development Approvals at a local and state level.
  9. Conducting an inquiry into the current funding for social and economic infrastructure in growing communities, including developer contributions, with the aim of providing industry and community greater certainty and consistency.


Community Housing Industry Association NSW CEO Wendy Hayhurst said development in Sydney needed to work for everyone.

“Cities change and grow constantly and what we want to do is make sure the changes are positive – that existing residents aren’t pushed out, that new buildings add to the neighbourhood’s attractions, and that transport and community infrastructure is delivered.

“By 2020, the community housing sector in NSW will deliver 2700 homes across the state, which is almost $1 billion in investment in local communities, however, it’s not anywhere near enough if we are to make a difference to the many people throughout NSW who are paying too much of their income on housing costs,” Ms Hayhurst said.

Shelter NSW CEO Karen Walsh said the Alliance brought together the hearts and minds of those who cared about the future of Sydney and broader NSW.

“We need to ensure density means high quality, inclusive housing that is affordable for people on lower incomes. We are committed to a growing Sydney that is equitable, accessible, affordable, vibrant and inclusive. Sydney’s growth presents an opportunity for us to create a world class city – and that’s not just by how it looks, but how it feels and how well we live in it,” she said.

Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan said: “From 2011 – 2016 homelessness in Sydney increased by 48 per cent compared to 14 per cent nationally despite significant economic growth. We need to ask ourselves what kind of city we want Sydney to be and make a commitment to ensure that we can provide safe, appropriate and affordable housing particularly to the most disadvantaged,” she said.

Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said: “The choice in Sydney and NSW is not between growth and no growth, the only choice we have is between good growth and bad growth; Our organisations believe in changing the public conversation about our State’s future to one about good growth that is sustainable, equitable and liveable and are calling on all political parties to adopt policy positions that ensure this happens,” she said.

Committee for Sydney Acting CEO Eamon Waterford said: “The fact that so many people want to live and work in our city reflects how great Sydney is. They are attracted by our buoyant economy, great lifestyle and great career opportunities. But growth must be planned for to ensure that our city continues to function effectively as it increases in size.

That means ensuring that areas of growth have the right infrastructure and that growing communities are given additional investment. Growth can also help to make Sydney a fair place to live, by improving access to social and affordable housing and creating more job opportunities. Our choice is not Growth or No Growth but Bad Growth or Good Growth. We are delighted to partner with the Alliance to promote Good Growth,” he said.

Sydney Business Chamber Executive Director Patricia Forsythe said all sectors needed to work with government to ensure housing was accessible for all.

“When we think about Sydney’s future, efficient planning regulations and a diverse mix of housing is critical to the city’s success and collaboration between housing organisations, business and government is key,” Mrs Forsythe said.

Media Contact: Jenny Stokes: 0478 504 280

Download PDF Good Growth Alliance A Better Sydney and Stronger NSW

MEDIA RELEASE: Large scale investment in housing infrastructure will address single biggest cost of living for NSW households

A landmark housing study released today shows NSW needs 212,000 new social housing properties over the next 20 years to meet the current shortfall and meet the needs of people in housing stress as the economy the state’s economy and population grows.

The AHURI study by RMIT and UNSW researchers shows that NSW accounts for 30% of social housing need in Australia, with 141,000 new properties needed in Sydney, and 72,000 in regional NSW by 2036 to address the current shortage and meet the future needs of people who are homeless and, renters on very low incomes who are paying more than 30% of their earnings on housing costs.

According to the needs analysis Sydney has a shortage of 80,000 social housing properties, with a 10,000 shortfall in the Parramatta area alone.  In the rest of NSW there is a shortage of 56,000 social housing properties.

CHIA NSW CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said the AHURI report showed the investment needed in housing infrastructure to alleviate the single biggest cost of living expense for many people in NSW.

“The state has a thriving economy and we need to make sure that the growth that flows from this includes everyone in NSW,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“We need to invest in good growth and that means recognising that housing, like schools, hospitals, roads or rail is a part of the critical infrastructure that is vital to creating liveable and sustainable towns, cities and communities.

“The AHURI report shows us what we need to do to ensure our lower income earners, whether they are childcare workers, looking after older people, hospital cleaners or households earning a minimum wage, have a safe, secure and affordable roof over their head.

“Yes it comes with what seems a hefty price tag – as does any infrastructure but we will reap the social and economic dividends downstream and let’s face it NSW isn’t without the resources to put into this.

“AHURI has said the most cost effective way forward is through capital grants to community housing providers, either through access to land and/or capital funding, alongside the availability of cheaper finance through the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) the Federal government has already established.

“Of course it isn’t just the state government’s responsibility, every level of government must step up. Continuing to do nothing isn’t an option if we want to see NSW continue to thrive.

The full study is at

Social housing need in Sydney (rounded to nearest 000)

Sydney suburbs Shortfall 2017 Additional to 2036 Number of social housing homes needed by 2036
Central Coast 7,200 4,400 11,500
Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury 1,300 600 1,900
Blacktown 5,300 5,200 10,500
City and Inner South 6,100 6,600 12,700
Eastern Suburbs 3,100 2,800 5,900
Inner South West 13,000 9,200 22,100
Inner West 4,800 3,100 7,900
North Sydney and Hornsby 3,800 2,300 6,100
Northern Beaches 1,800 1,300 3,100
Outer South West 3,700 3,700 7,400
Outer West and Blue Mountains 5,000 3,600 8,600
Parramatta 10,600 8,000 18,700
Ryde 2,300 1,700 4,000
South West12 10,000 7,200 17,200
Sutherland 1,600 1,400 3,000
Total 80,000 61,000 141,000


Social Housing need – regional NSW follows

Suburbs Shortfall 2017 Additional to 2036 Number of social housing homes needed by 2036
Capital Region 4,000 1,100 5,100
Central West 4,100 1,200 5,300
Coffs Harbour Grafton 3,800 900 4,700
Far West and Orana 2,200 800 3,000
Hunter Valley 5,800 1,500 7,300
Illawarra 5,000 2,000 6,900
Mid North Coast 5,900 1,400 7,300
Murray 2,500 600 3,100
New England and North West 4,300 1,200 5,500
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie 6,300 2,200 8,500
Richmond Tweed 6,500 1,500 7,900
Riverina 2,900 800 3,700
Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven 2,900 800 3,700
Total 56,000 16,000 72,000

Download PDF: Large scale investment in housing infrastructure will address single biggest cost of living for NSW households

MEDIA RELEASE: Grattan report shows NSW needs urgent housing action

The state’s strong budget outlook is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in social and affordable housing to support the thousands of people in NSW struggling with rental stress and homelessness, the state’s not-for-profit housing sector said today.

A Grattan Institute report released today shows NSW has the strongest budget in Australia but the lowest rates of social housing and the highest rates of rental stress and increasing homelessness.

According to the report, NSW has experienced the sharpest decline in social housing levels over the past five years.

The number of low income households (households in the bottom 40% of income earners) experiencing rental stress has increased by 10 per cent, with 1 in 2 low income households in NSW now in rental stress.

Homelessness rates have also increased by 10 .7% – again the highest in the country.

CHIA NSW CEO Wendy Hayhurst said with the state’s budget surplus based largely on rising house prices NSW must urgently commit to investing in policies and programs for families left behind by the boom.

“NSW needs 12,500 social and affordable homes a year to fill the shortfall we have now and meet the needs of our growing population, which is vital if we are to support people in housing stress now and avoid increasing housing unaffordability even further down the track for our children,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“Today’s report also shows once again that we have money here in NSW to invest in housing that market mechanisms can’t provide.

“Real estate prices in Sydney have dropped slightly, but whether a house is 12 or 11 times the average income is immaterial when you’re a renter struggling just to keep a roof over your head and your income hasn’t gone up. Getting together a deposit in these circumstances is nigh impossible.

“The NSW government has some good programs in place but they won’t fill the gap.

“We need investment and planning reforms in NSW to encourage more the growth of not-for-profit social and affordable housing in local communities across NSW and secure future economic growth. Today’s report shows we have the surplus and the money to do it, we just need the will.

“We’re also hoping this report encourages the NSW government to release its Social Housing Strategy as soon as possible.”

Download PDF: Grattan report shows NSW needs urgent housing action

MEDIA RELEASE: More community housing critical as rental stress grows in NSW

More community housing critical as rental stress grows in NSW

Growing rental stress across NSW highlights the urgent need for action from all levels of government to create more social and affordable housing for local communities from the Tweed to the Riverina, the state’s peak not for profit housing body said today.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said Anglicare’s 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot released today shows that chronic rental stress has spread its tentacles to almost every area of the state.

“It’s no surprise that yet again there is not a single property affordable for a young family on a minimum wage or government support to rent within 20km of Sydney’s CBD,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“However today’s report from Anglicare shows it’s biting hard in regional areas from the Far North Coast right through to the Northern Tablelands and the Riverina. Even in towns like Tamworth, Wagga and Goulburn a job seeker on Newstart cannot find a single affordable place to rent while they look for work.”

Ms Hayhurst said waiting lists for social housing are up to a decade long in more and more areas of NSW.

She said the state’s community housing sector is ready to grow to meet demand but needs planning reforms and a commitment from all levels of government to afacilitate this growth.

“We need more affordable rental options for households struggling everywhere in our state, particularly people with disability, aged pensioners, job seekers and families struggling to keep a roof over their heads on a minimum wage,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“Our community housing providers already own and manage more than 35,000 properties in 115 council areas of NSW, providing affordable rent, care and support for our tenants and a range of high quality housing models for people in housing stress.

“Councils like Shoalhaven are beginning to develop affordable housing strategies for their local communities. We really need the State Government to release a comprehensive Housing Strategy for the whole of NSW that spells out exactly when, where and how we can deliver the social and affordable housing our local communities need, wherever in NSW they live.

“The Federation will continue to work with local councils, the NSW Government and Opposition in coming months to make it happen.”

The 2018 Everybody’s Home Affordable Housing Conference on June 27 and 28 will highlight the current and growing shortfall of accessible and affordable housing in Australia.

Media contact: Jenny Stokes 0407 504 280

MEDIA RELEASE: NSW community housing sector joins national campaign to fix our broken housing system

NSW community housing sector joins national campaign to fix our broken housing system

The state’s peak not-for-profit community housing body today joined hundreds of a community, housing, and homelessness organisations in calling on all political parties to support a plan to fix Australia’s broken housing system.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said housing stress is affecting local communities in Sydney and NSW more than any other part of Australia.

“The price of our state’s booming economy is that our house prices are continuing to soar in most parts of NSW, which means that rents are and homeownership realistically is now beyond any worker on a lower income or even average wage,” Ms Hayhurst said.

“Homelessness in NSW grew by 37% in just five years and is now the worst in the country, with more than 60,000 people in need of a safety net waiting for social housing.

“We need the NSW Government and the Federal government to work with the community and housing sectors to really fix our housing system for everyone – from renters, to home buyers to people struggling to find a roof over their head.”

Ms Hayhurst said Everybody’s Home has outlined five key measures for make sure everybody in NSW has a home.

Analysis for Everybody’s Home found that Australia will need 500,000 social and affordable homes by 2026 – many in NSW.

She said the state’s growing not for profit community housing sector was critical part of the solution.

“One of the biggest causes of homelessness in NSW is the lack of social and affordable housing. Too many renters are struggling in the private rental market and need affordable options. And many first home buyers can’t save for a deposit if they are paying private rents they simply cannot afford.

“We need to set out a clear National Strategy as they have in Canada for how we can meet growing need for affordable rental homes for nurses, aged care workers, and other vital people essential to keeping our local communities running.

“Government support, beyond increasing supply is absolutely critical. At a state level we need action through Inclusionary zoning and affordable housing target and incentives to trigger private and not for profit investment into affordable housing.”

Find out about the campaign at

Media contact: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

MEDIA RELEASE: New polling shows 2 in 3 Australians want action on housing

Federal and state governments are failing the test of providing secure, affordable housing with two in three Australians saying all political parties must do more to address housing affordability. The polling has been released to coincide with the housing, homelessness and community sectors uniting in Canberra today to launch a new national campaign aimed at rebalancing the housing system for ordinary Australians. Key points from poll: • 62% of Australians think the Federal Government is not doing enough about housing affordability • 60% think the Opposition needs to do more • 49% of Coalition voters believe the Federal Government is not doing enough, and • 57% of Labor voters believe the Opposition should do more.

Everybody’s Home campaign Spokesperson, Kate Colvin said housing affordability is clearly a critical issue that all parties were failing to address. “Making sure everyone has a home is a top order priority for Australians but it is not matched by action from our political leaders. That needs to change,” Ms Colvin said. “Genuine home buyers are missing out to people building investment portfolios. Growing competition for rental properties is driving up prices and rental insecurity. “There’s a chronic shortage of social and affordable rental options, and it’s causing record levels of homelessness. “Both the major parties have a very poor report card when it comes to housing. The Everybody’s Home campaign will make sure they have no choice but to start taking genuine action instead of more thought bubbles and piecemeal measures.

“We need to address the entire housing system to make sure every Australian has a safe, secure roof over their head whether they’re buying, renting or at risk of homelessness.” Everybody’s Home will launch at the National Press Club in Canberra today. It aims to unite Australians behind a real focus on solutions that will ensure everybody has the security of a home. In the lead up to the Federal Election the campaign will roll out a roadmap for how we can fix every part of our housing system – from redressing the balance for home homeowners to triggering large scale investment from superannuation funds in affordable rental homes.

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280