Minns Government’s first budget tells most vulnerable NSW families to just keep waiting

Media release

19 September 2023

The Minns Government has passed up a golden opportunity to start rebuilding NSW’s broken housing system, offering none of its own funding for new social housing supply in this year’s budget, according to the peak community housing body in NSW.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the State Government did not put substantial new money towards building more social and affordable housing homes, right when families in NSW need it most,” said Community Housing Industry Association NSW CEO Mark Degotardi.

CHIA NSW said the funding in today’s State Budget was primarily for existing, under-funded programs and services to continue and doesn’t commit funding to put more homes on the ground.

“There is no money in this Budget to help build more social housing despite the State’s social housing wait list standing at 56,000 households, the largest in the country.

“The only commitment to build more affordable housing was through reinvestment in Landcom. This initiative is welcome but will only deliver around 1,400 homes by 2039-40.

“That is roughly 80 affordable homes a year, at a time when the unmet housing need in NSW stands at over 220,000 homes.  It is a drop in the ocean – it wouldn’t even meet the projected demand in any one of Sydney’s LGAs, let alone the statewide demand.

“This Budget was the perfect opportunity to show the people of NSW that the Minns Government is determined to help solve the state’s chronic social and affordable housing shortage.  That opportunity has been missed,” said Mr Degotardi.

“Instead, we are relying on the private market to provide solutions.  The private market is important but is has never, and never will, provide the solutions to social and affordable housing need.

“In recent months, the Federal Government has put money on the table to boost supply in the housing market, through the Housing Australia Future Fund and the Social Housing Accelerator Fund.

“The scale of the crisis means that funding from the Federal Government alone cannot solve this housing emergency.  The NSW Government also needs to respond with a significant and long-term plan,” Mr Degotardi said.

“All other State Governments in Australia have responded with significant investments.  Despite being the largest State in Australia, NSW is dragging its feet on investment in desperately needed new social and affordable housing supply.

“All other Federal and State Governments have recognised the scale of the crisis and begun the process of repair.

“In NSW, we are still waiting.  The most vulnerable households in NSW are already waiting up to 10 years for social housing.  They just can’t wait any longer.

“The crisis is not too big to solve, and it is not too late to begin. The not-for-profit community housing industry has projects that are ready to go.  We just need the funding to start building the homes families in our state need.”

“It is not too late for the NSW Government to confront this crisis head-on. We call on the Government to work with the not-for-profit community housing industry on a long-term plan that will give NSW’s most vulnerable families a safe and affordable place to call home.”

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424 156 146

NSW Government’s housing package welcome, but only scratches the surface of housing need

Media release

16 September 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has welcomed the NSW Essential Housing Package announced today by the State Government but warned much more is needed to address the growing housing crisis.

“The funding announced today is welcome, but it will primarily allow existing programs and services to continue,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“While it’s critical these services and programs continue, the funding will not even make a dent in the social housing waitlist, which is 56,000 families and individuals long,” Mr Degotardi said.

“To quote Premier Minns himself; we have a housing crisis that needs urgent attention. Urgent attention means serious investment from our State Government to build the social and affordable homes people in NSW desperately need,” said Mr Degotardi. 

CHIA NSW hoped to see the Minns Government announce funding for social and affordable housing in Tuesday’s State Budget.

“Tuesday’s Budget is an opportunity for Premier Minns and his Government to confront the crisis head on, by delivering significant funding for social and affordable homes and making the most of recently announced Federal Government initiatives,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The housing crisis for low-income families in NSW will only get worse, and every delay makes the problem that much harder to solve.

“We’re in this mess because of chronic, decades-long neglect from successive governments in social and affordable housing. I hope the Minns Government will put a stop to this short-sighted trend on Tuesday, or our most vulnerable people in the community will continue to pay the price. Providing social and affordable housing makes social and economic sense.

CHIA NSW said the community housing sector is ready to partner with the State Government to start boosting the supply of homes needed.

“Not-for-profit community housing providers have projects that are ready to go. NSW Government funding is the key to unlocking these projects.  I urge Premier Minns to respond to the crisis on Tuesday and start putting keys in the doors of more social and affordable homes across NSW,” said Mr Degotardi.

Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

$50 million needed to secure future of Together Home

Media release

14 September 2023

NSW homelessness and community housing peak bodies warn hundreds of rough sleepers risk being left without support unless the government commits $50 million to extend the state’s Together Home program.

Homelessness NSW and the Community Housing Industry Association NSW are urging the government to use this month’s budget to secure the future of the program that helps people who are street-sleeping to access long-term housing.

An extra $50 million over two years would give about 320 of the most vulnerable people access to a stable and secure home. Together Home has helped house more than 1000 people since it began in 2020.

“Together Home is an evidence-based program delivering amazing results for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Cutting funding to this program during the worst housing crisis in a generation will only make the homelessness crisis worse,” HNSW Acting CEO Amy Hains said.

“Two years of additional funding will also pay dividends over the long term by alleviating pressure on health, justice and welfare budgets due to the benefits provided by a stable home.”

Under existing funding agreements, CHIA NSW estimates the program will have ended for more than 850 people at the end of 2023.

“Together Home is vital to improving the lives of, and offering hope, to some of NSW’s most vulnerable people,” CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said.

“It would be a serious mistake for the NSW government not to secure the future of Together Home in this month’s budget. We are experiencing a housing and homelessness crisis, and the failure to provide adequate funding means hundreds of people sleeping rough will miss out on the chance to access a safe and stable home.”

CHIA NSW and HNSW are also urging the government to commit to building an extra 400 social housing properties over two years for people exiting the Together Home program, but who need longer-term housing and support services.

The plea from the NSW peak bodies follows a 10 per cent rise in demand for frontline homelessness services in the first three months of 2023.

“Government funding for homelessness services has not kept up with the cost of providing help. In real terms, homelessness services have actually lost funding over time,” Ms Hains said.

Background about Together Home:
• Under Together Home, the government leases private rentals that are sub-leased to community housing providers.
• These properties are then rented to vulnerable people, predominantly rough sleepers, at below market rates. Participants are also provided with wraparound services.
• About 90% of Together Home participants have maintained their tenancies since the start of the program with help from their community housing provider and support services.

Media contacts:
Georgie Moore (Homelessness NSW) – 0477 779 928

Charlie Moore (Homelessness NSW) – 0452 606 171

Tanya Evans (CHIA NSW) – 0424156146

CHIA NSW welcomes Housing Australia Future Fund deal, urges NSW Government to step up in State Budget

Media release

11 September 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has welcomed the announcement of a deal on the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF), saying it will come as good news to the tens of thousands of people in NSW living in housing crisis.

“This will come as a huge relief to the 56,000 families on the social housing waitlist in NSW alone,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO, CHIA NSW.

“Not-for-profit community housing providers are ready to start building the homes our state needs. We have housing projects right across the state that are shovel-ready, but just need an injection of funds,” said Mr Degotardi.

“That’s why I urge the Federal Parliament to pass this bill swiftly and partner with community housing providers to get families off waiting lists and into homes as quickly as possible.

“Community housing providers have a proven track record of helping families and communities thrive,” Mr Degotardi said.

CHIA NSW also urged the Minns Government to step up and play their part in fixing the housing crisis in its upcoming state budget.

“The Minns Government must not rest of the laurels of the Federal Government. This is a significant investment in social housing, but the HAFF alone won’t fix the housing crisis,” said Mr Degotardi.

“If we’re truly going to confront the housing crisis, we need the state government to step up and play their part too.

“The Minns Government needs to carve out significant, long-term funding in their own State Budget next week for social and affordable housing,” said Mr Degotardi.

Media contact: Tanya Evans 0424156146

Minns Government urged to have the courage to act, as new report shows housing crisis is costing Sydney economy $10bn per year

Media release

7 September 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has called on the Minns Government to have the courage to invest in the social and affordable housing NSW families need, as a new report reveals the housing crisis is costing the Sydney economy $10 billion per year.

“The report shows that on every measure Sydney is in a housing crisis that has worsened over the last decade. And it’s no surprise when there’s been chronic neglect by successive state governments in social and affordable housing,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO, CHIA NSW.

“We know this is hurting families across NSW as they’re forced to go without essentials, and now we can see that it’s hurting the economy too,” Mr Degotardi said.

The report from Committee for Sydney found that Sydney meets the key metrics for chronic unaffordability: 

  • Sydney’s median property price is over 13.3 times the median income, up from 8.3 a decade ago
  • 35.3 per cent of Sydney renter households experience rental stress
  • Sydney is ranked second least affordable major housing market after Hong Kong.

The report calls for “much more investment in social and affordable housing”.  CHIA NSW urged the NSW Government to act urgently in the upcoming State Budget to address the growing crisis.

“The housing crisis must be the number one priority for the Minns Government.  With so many renters in housing stress, the need for government assistance is going to get worse.  It’s time for bold responses from the Minns Government to do what families in our state need, by funding social and affordable housing, starting with the state budget.

“56,000 families and individuals on the social housing waitlist will be watching to see if the State Government is willing to take the steps needed to give them a secure, long-term home this State Budget,” said Mr Degotardi.

“Investing in social and affordable housing has enormous positive impacts on families and communities.  It also benefits our economy, as it unlocks the opportunity for more people to participate in the critical jobs that Sydney needs the most.”

CHIA NSW said that not-for-profit community housing providers are ready to play a key role in solving the housing crisis.

“Not-for-profit community housing providers are ready to partner with the NSW Government to fix this housing emergency,” said Mr Degotardi.

“We have housing projects ready to go, we just need the injection of funds from the State Budget,” said Mr Degotardi.

Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

State Government must invest in social and affordable housing after data shows rental prices outpacing wage growth five times over in Sydney

Media release

24 August 2023

The NSW Government must urgently invest in more social and affordable housing, as new data from Domain shows rental prices for units rose more than seven times as fast as wages across Australia’s capital cities over the past 12 months.

The Domain data showed the asking rents for apartments in Sydney rose 27.6 per cent over the year to June, eclipsing wages which only grew at 3.6 per cent. Over the same period, rents for houses grew by almost 13 per cent.

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) CEO, Mark Degotardi said rising rents coupled with a lack of supply is putting an enormous strain on renters.

“Stagnant wages and the soaring cost of living are compounding a housing crisis which has been decades in the making,” said CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi.

“The disparity between rent increases and wage growth is being felt hardest by low-income workers like cleaners, aged care nurses, and retail workers who help keep our society running. The private rental market is failing these Australians who desperately need social and affordable housing options,” said Mr Degotardi.

“A thriving housing system is one where secure and affordable options are available to all, regardless of the pay they take home. That is not possible without an adequate supply of social and affordable housing in that system.

“Right now, thousands of families cannot afford a private rental but when they turn to social housing, they’re met with a queue of 56,000 other families just like them.

CHIA NSW is calling on the State Government ahead of the NSW State Budget to invest in a four-year, $6 billion Social and Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which leverages co-funding from the Federal Government, State Government and community housing providers, to deliver a sustainable pipeline of social and affordable housing projects across NSW.

“With a sustainable and targeted pipeline of new social and affordable housing, we ensure that everyone in NSW – regardless of their salary – has a roof over their head,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The best way for the NSW Government to get bang for its buck is by supporting not-for-profit community housing providers to deliver quality social and affordable housing. Those homes will be safe, secure and affordable places to live in NSW communities for generations to come,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424156146

Urgent action needed as new figures show soaring priority list for social housing in NSW

Media release

11 August 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has called for urgent investment in social and affordable housing to address the growing housing crisis, as new data released today shows the waitlist for priority social housing has doubled in less than a decade.

The figures reveal the demand for priority housing in NSW increased by 1,000 to 7,573 in the past twelve months, forcing the state’s most vulnerable to survive in precarious living situations while they wait.

“The explosion in the numbers of households on the priority housing waitlist is a human catastrophe with NSW’s most vulnerable families in immediate crisis.

“We need urgent investment in social and affordable housing included in the upcoming State Budget as well as a plan for the future,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The scale of this crisis means that all levels of Government must develop an urgent and coordinated response.

“The Federal Government’s recent investment of $2 billion in social housing across Australia is welcome, but it is not enough.

“The ongoing delays in passing the Housing Australia Future Fund are not acceptable. Communities and households in crisis are not interested in political games, they need action and they need it now,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The NSW Government must also do more – planning reforms are welcomed but direct investment in social and affordable housing at scale is what is desperately needed.”

The NSW Government’s decision to release the social housing waitlist numbers more frequently is welcomed by CHIA NSW who has called for better transparency on the figures for some time.

“Congratulations to the NSW Government for its transparency about the scale of the problem. But we also need transparency about how much social housing is being planned and built and a commitment from the NSW Government to sensible long term targets for new social and affordable housing.

“The community also needs an explanation of why the general social housing waitlist has declined by almost 5,000 applicants in six months when the data suggests that the number of applicants placed into properties is about half that number. If eligible households haven’t got a home but have disappeared off the waitlist, where are they?”

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

Cadets celebrate their graduation with NSW Housing Minister

Media release

10 August 2023

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) is proudly celebrating the 15 Cadets who graduate today from the Cadetship Program.

Developed in partnership with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), the Cadetship Program, now in its second year, offers Cadets a 12-month paid employment contract with a community housing provider and enrolment in nationally accredited training course, Certificate IV in Housing.

The Cadets celebrated the special occasion with their families at the State Library of NSW, where they were joined by Minister for Housing and Homelessness, The Hon. Rose Jackson, MLC, who addressed the Cadets and congratulated them on their inspirational achievements as role models for their families and communities.  

For the second year in a row, the Cadetship Program has delivered excellent educational and employment outcomes for people who have traditionally experienced significant barriers in accessing work and study opportunities. This includes social housing residents, people living in regional and rural NSW, and people who identify as an Aboriginal person. 

Of the 20 Cadets who commenced the program in 2022,15 Cadets have completed the Certificate IV in Housing, with 80% of those Cadets successfully securing employment with a community housing provider as of July 2023.

Amongst the graduating class, Amanda Mundell, Charlotte Parsons-Darcy and Renae Weatherall were recognised for their achievements as nominees at the NSW Training Awards in their respective home regions of New England, Hunter, and South Coast.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi shared his enthusiasm for the achievements of the graduating cohort.

“The graduation of these remarkable Cadets is an important milestone and a moment of great pride for the community housing industry,” said Mr Degotardi.

“Today, we celebrate the diversity this cohort has brought to the Cadetship Program and the dedication they have shown to make it to graduation. We are excited to see the positive impact they will undoubtedly have on the communities they serve.”

“CHIA NSW extends its gratitude to the NSW Government for its invaluable partnership in delivering this program, ensuring it changes the lives of not only the Cadets but those they will go on to assist in their work for years to come,” said Mr Degotardi.

NSW Land and Housing Corporation acting Chief Executive Michael Wheatley said this important program was helping to grow the skills of people in the social housing sector to provide better support to those seeking vital housing needs.

“Social housing is built on partnerships and by working with CHIA NSW we’re giving our graduates the skills to thrive in the social housing sector and support us to create more and better homes,” Mr Wheatley said.

“Many of our cadets have come from social housing themselves and can use their lived experiences combined with their new qualifications to help us address the challenges in the housing industry and deliver better outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our community. 

“I’d like to congratulate these cadets on their hard work in this program and look forward to seeing them grow as they embark on their newfound careers,” Mr Wheatley said.

Media Contact: Josh Appleton, [email protected]

New report shows families in Sydney heading for disaster without urgent action to address growing housing crisis

Media release

6 July 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has called for urgent investment in social and affordable housing to address the growing housing crisis, as new data released today shows rents in Sydney rose at the fastest rate in 20 years.

“Without urgent action from the NSW Government families in our state are heading towards catastrophe,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“To take the pressure off families and the rental market, we need urgent investment in social and affordable housing,” Mr Degotardi said.

“The evidence of the housing crisis couldn’t be clearer. Month after month rents continue to climb, vacancy rates remain at some of the lowest rates we have on record and we have a social housing waitlist in NSW with  58,000 families and individuals waiting for help.

“It’s time to confront this crisis head on and the first priority is to build the social and affordable housing our state desperately needs,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The Federal Government has recently invested $2bn in social housing.  That investment is welcome, but it is not enough.  This housing crisis demands that the State Government makes its own sustained and significant investment in social and affordable housing.”

Key findings from Domain’s Rent Report include:

  • Rents for a unit in Sydney have surged by 27.6 per cent over the past year.  
  • Sydney unit rents have soared by $145 per week over the past year,
  • Asking rent for the median apartment in Sydney reached a record $670 per week, an increase of 8.1 per cent over the June quarter alone
  • About 127,000 additional dwellings will be needed this financial year alone.

The peak community housing body said that chronic neglect of social and affordable housing was one of the key factors behind the housing crisis.

“Social and affordable housing has been underfunded by successive governments for more than a decade. This kind of housing takes the pressure off the private rental market, and ensures there is a safety net for families struggling in a cost of living crisis,” Mr Degotardi.

“It’s time to cease the neglect of this critical infrastructure, by urgently investing significant funding in social and affordable housing so we can start building the homes families in NSW need.” Mr Degotardi said.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

$2 Billion Social Housing Accelerator Fund welcome first step towards getting 58,000 families in NSW off waiting list

Media release

17 June 2023

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) says the $2 billion funding for building new social housing and refurbishing existing homes announced today by the Prime Minister is a welcome and timely step for addressing the housing crisis.

“There are 58,000 families and individuals in NSW on the social housing waitlist, who will be feeling some relief today that the Federal Government is committed to tackling this unprecedented crisis,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Policy at CHIA NSW.

“Significant investment in social housing is critical and this is a fantastic start. But we also need to see long term, ongoing investment to increase social housing supply,” said Ms McDowell.

The Social Housing Accelerator Fund will see $2 billion divided between the states and territories on a per capita basis. This is in addition to the previously announced $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund.  

CHIA NSW has called for the Social Housing Accelerator Fund to be used to deliver social housing through community housing providers.

“Community housing providers are not-for-profit organisations that have a demonstrated track record of delivering and managing high-quality homes for people in greatest need,” said Ms McDowell.

“Community housing is the most cost-effective model available to governments to deliver social housing, as we re-invest savings into more supply. By partnering with community housing providers, we can ensure that more individuals and families on the wait list will have a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.”

Media Contact: Tanya Evans, 0424 156 146