Welcome to the April 2022 edition of Housing Matters.
With the Federal election just weeks away, housing affordability has maintained its presence in mainstream media as a significant cost of living issue. In recent days, Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot has further illustrated the crisis we’re in. For Australians earning minimum wage or receiving income support payments, the chance of affording a rental anywhere in the country is slim to none. More on Anglicare’s report in this edition.
Earlier this week, the Australian Labor Party formally launched its Federal campaign with new announcements on tackling housing affordability and homelessness, which was welcomed by our colleagues at CHIA (National) and National Shelter.
The Help to Buy shared ownership scheme follows earlier announcements about the Housing Australia Future Fund to deliver new social and affordable supply, and a commitment to deliver a National Housing and Homelessness Plan. Additionally, the announcement about a proposed National Supply and Affordability Council and an expanded remit for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation was also welcomed by our Federal peers.
Closer to home, we’re now fast approaching the NSW State Budget being handed down on 21 June. CHIA NSW will be continuing its advocacy on critical issues, including the importance of further investment in the Community Housing Innovation Fund, a focus on regional housing, repairs and maintenance of social housing and more.
Later in this edition, we’ve got some great news about the achievements of our Cadets.
Please enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.
CEO, CHIA NSW
CHIA NSW Chair appears on 7.30 Report to discuss rental crisis
CHIA NSW Chair and CEO of Housing Trust, Michele Adair has appeared on ABC’s 7.30 Report to discuss the rental crisis currently gripping Australia.
The story looked at how the issues of rental affordability and availability of social housing are lacking attention by politicians on either side of the election, despite the shortfalls only growing.
Michele reflected on findings coming out of the recent Anglicare Rental Affordability Report and discussed what’s needed to address the problems we face.
“The focus has been on first-home buyers and home ownership, and that's been at the cost of the rental market.
“Being priced out of the rental market and not being able to own is the reality facing hundreds of thousands if not millions of Australians today.
“The housing market's out of control. One of the fundamental problems in Australia is that we've only ever considered housing as being a vehicle for personal wealth creation. We've never understood the criticality of it as a human right.
“In Sydney, a single person can earn as much as $86,000 a year and still be eligible for subsidised housing under the New South Wales Government's own rules.
“We've already got a national shortfall of hundreds of thousands of affordable rental homes. Conservatively, 200,000 homes right now.
“Unless we build homes with a specific and a safe guarantee that they are going to be made available only for affordable rental, then we're not doing anything at all,” said Michele.
To view the story, visit https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/rental-crisis-worsens-as-vacancies-fall-to-record/13863902.
Latest national Rental Affordability Report released
Anglicare Australia have just released their Rental Affordability Snapshot, a yearly report designed to highlight the lived experience of looking for housing while on a low income.
The 2021 Rental Affordability Snapshot surveyed over 74,000 rental listings across Australia and found that affordability is at record lows for those on minimum wage and benefit recipients.
Some key takeaways from the report include:
- When the snapshot was taken on 19 March 2022, there was 45,992 available rentals nationally, down 38% from March 2021, when there were 74,266 listings.
- A single person on minimum wage could only afford 720, or 1.6%, of available listings, while a couple on the age pension could only afford 663, or 1.4%, of what was on the market.
- There were no affordable options for people on youth allowance, and only seven properties that were affordable for single people on jobseeker.
- 51 properties – 0.1% – were affordable for people on the disability support pension.
You can download their report here: https://www.anglicare.asn.au/research-advocacy/rental-affordability/.
Big Housing Debate unpacks Western Sydney social housing crisis
Link Wentworth’s recent Big Housing Debate held at Penrith brought together a host of speakers from across the political, business and community spectrum to unpack the current social housing needs of NSW, with a close lens on Western Sydney.
Hosted by the ABC’s Juanita Phillips, the discussion heard from State Shadow Minister for Water, Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson, The Hon Shayne Mallard MLC, CEO of Tenants’ Union NSW Leo Patterson Ross, Link Wentworth CEO Andrew McAnulty, and several speakers across private business.
The various panels unpacked the demand for social housing in Western Sydney which makes up 16% of all demand in NSW with a significant shortfall of supply expected over the coming 15 years. The call was made by several panellists for a national housing strategy.
However, the most powerful input of the day came from Mary, a social housing resident who shared her personal story of finding affordable housing as a single mother with two children.
To read more about the event, visit: https://www.linkwentworth.org.au/big-housing-debate-social-affordable-housing-shortfall/.
Newest Cadets begin, 2021 Cadets up for awards
The 2022 Cadetship Program has officially begun with cadets kicking off their studies and employment, while some from the 2021 program have been nominated for NSW Training Awards.
The 2022 cohort have begun their studies with CHIA NSW’s Centre for Training in Social Housing as well as their employment with various CHPs. The majority of the 22 people which make up the recently started 2022 cohort are female and from regional/rural NSW. 45% of the group identify as Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander.
Meanwhile, five cadets from the 2021 program have been nominated for NSW Training Awards, all progressing to the next stage where they will be interviewed. CHIA NSW congratulates them on an incredible achievement and wish them well for the next stage.
CHIA National release new reporting standard to demonstrate community housing industry’s ESG credentials
The Community Housing Industry Association and a consortium of private and public sector partners have commenced the development of an industry specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting standard.
Apart from the UK, Australia will be the first country to develop a community housing ESG. The reporting standard will demonstrate the added value community housing generates in driving improved economic and social outcomes and in doing so will help encourage and attract more diverse private sector lending, including from ESG investors.
For more information, visit https://www.communityhousing.com.au/chia-media-release-new-reporting-standard-to-demonstrate-community-housing-industrys-esg-credentials/.
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