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