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18,600 households in Southwestern Sydney are in housing crisis

Media release

23 January 2023

New data released by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA NSW) shows over 12.7 per cent of families and individuals in Southwestern Sydney have unmet housing needs.

The UNSW City Futures Research Centre data measures the number of low-income households in rental stress, living in over-crowded conditions, or experiencing homelessness and shines a light on the true scale of the housing crisis in Southwestern Sydney.

In addition to Southwestern Sydney, over 20,000 households in the Canterbury, Bankstown and Georges River areas have been identified as not having their housing needs met.

Other areas that historically offered cheaper alternatives are also experiencing high rates of unmet housing need, including the Inner West with 7.4 per cent, Blacktown with 7.5 per cent and Central Coast with 8.5 per cent of households experiencing unmet housing need.

NSW electorates with the highest figures for unmet housing needs:

NSW State ElectoratePercentage of all households with unmet housing needNumber of households with unmet housing need
Fairfield17.8 percent5,400
Bankstown15.5 percent4,800
Auburn13.6 percent5,600
Cabramatta13.4 percent3,800
Granville13.3 percent4,800
Liverpool13.1 percent4,000
Canterbury13 percent4,600
Strathfield10.3 percent4,000
Parramatta10 percent4,800
Kogarah9.5 percent3,400
Holsworthy9.1 percent2,600
Leppington8.2 percent2,200
Penrith8 percent2,700

“This data reveals the social fragmentation of Sydney. Your postcode should not determine whether you live in housing crisis,” said CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi.

“There are 18,600 people in Southwestern Sydney living in housing crisis. The scale of this housing emergency is just enormous, and it deserves an urgent response from the State Government to address it,” said Mr Degotardi.

“This is a wakeup call to the incoming NSW Government – you cannot continue to sit idly by while tens of thousands of everyday families and individuals struggle to find or keep their home.

Mr Degotardi said that without urgent action by the State Government, the housing crisis will continue to worsen.

“Interest rates and rental prices are rising, and vacancy rates are plummeting,” said Mr Degotardi.

“We know that there are more than 57,000 families and individuals on the social housing waitlist, which is a figure that doesn’t even reflect the true scale of the crisis.

“But there is a solution. Investment in social and affordable housing delivered by community housing providers is the key. It will get people off the waiting list, out of housing crisis, and into long-term, secure homes,” said Mr Degotardi.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

More funding for social and affordable housing is urgently needed

Media release

10 January 2023

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) welcomes the NSW Opposition’s announcement regarding the proposed creation of Homes NSW, a single agency to be responsible for social and affordable housing in NSW.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said the fact remains that more than 57,000 people are on the social housing waitlist, a waitlist that has grown by more than 10 per cent in the last year alone.

“More work needs to be done in providing secure, long-term and affordable rental accommodation,” Mr Degotardi said.

“The problem is not just too much bureaucracy, it is too little government funding.

We urgently need investment in social and affordable housing from the incoming state government to address the shortfall and confront the housing crisis.

“The housing crisis is looming as a serious challenge we face as a state, and it is emerging as a critical issue in the upcoming New South Wales election.

“We call on candidates across electorates to commit to confronting the crisis and give this issue the attention it deserves.

“It is time for New South Wales to invest boldly in developing affordable community housing across the state,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

New figures confirm worsening housing crisis in New South Wales

Media release

06 January 2023

New data released by the New South Wales government highlights that the overall number of people on the NSW Housing Register’s waiting list grew to 57,550 households in 2022, a 13% increase from 2021 levels.

Even more alarmingly, Priority Applications on the waiting list increased by 12% over the past year, indicating that thousands of people most at risk face wait times for support of more than a decade.

The CEO of Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), Mark Degotardi, said that the numbers show just how dire the state of the housing crisis is in New South Wales.

“We’ve been calling on the government to release these figures for months and we cannot let the summer holidays draw attention away from the scale of this crisis

“When the social housing waiting list for more than 57,000 households is this long it is no longer a ‘queue’, it is a catastrophe.

“At a time when many residents across the state are enjoying their summer break, there are over 57,000 households who face the grave uncertainties of not being able to keep a roof over their heads.

“Years of neglect from both sides of politics have created these stark inequalities and have left far too many people behind.

“In one of the richest countries in the world, housing insecurity is a policy choice and a policy failure.

“The housing crisis is looming as a serious challenge we face as a state, and it is emerging as a critical issue in the upcoming New South Wales elections.

“We call on candidates across electorates to commit to confronting the crisis and give this issue the attention it deserves.

“It is time for New South Wales to invest boldly in developing affordable community housing across the state,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media Contact: Mayank Gurnani, 0414 463 827

Alliance of property and housing sectors call for bipartisan support and investment for good, affordable housing to confront the housing crisis

Media release

14 December 2022

An alliance of the Property Council of Australia, Community Housing Industry Association NSW, Shelter NSW and Homelessness NSW have today called on the NSW Government to address the housing crisis in NSW.

The Reserve Bank has again increased interest rates, placing further pressure on landlords to pass on the hike to renters. The jump in rents will also add pressure to the social housing waitlist as people are forced to leave the private rental market. The Good Growth Alliance has released a plan for NSW centred on increasing the stock of good quality, affordable homes for everyone and creating liveable communities close to jobs, transport, and infrastructure.

The Good Growth Alliance’s key priorities ahead of the upcoming NSW election include:

– Increasing social housing to 10 per cent of the total housing stock by 2050

– Establishing a 4-year $3 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund to supplement funding from the Housing Australia Future Fund

– Creating the conditions for ensuring at least 30 percent of any future residential development on former government land be designated as social and affordable housing

– Implementing incentives for private developers to create more affordable rental housing units across all parts of NSW, including density bonuses.

One of the critical priorities for the next NSW State Government will be re-energising the economy after the Covid pandemic and helping to address the cost-of-living pressures from rising interest rates.

There is a growing housing crisis in NSW with rental vacancy rates at an all-time low and a waiting list of 50,000 families and individuals for social housing. Good growth includes diverse communities, inclusion of those less fortunate and the provision of services where they are needed.

The ‘Quantifying Australia’s unmet housing need’ report revealed Inner South West Sydney, South West Sydney and Parramatta were all in the nation’s top five regions with the highest proportion of households with unmet housing needs. Families in regional NSW are also second highest in Australia in experiencing extreme housing distress.

All levels of government across all parties must work together and take leadership in ensuring a strategic approach to planning and infrastructure investment in NSW. Planning for growth must be above the political fray, be solutions-focused and evidence-based.

The state’s population is projected to reach almost 10 million people by 2041, with much of its growth expected to occur in Sydney and the surrounding regions. We need to ensure that the growth and development that occurs will benefit all of the community and that we are planning and investing for success.

Quotes attributable to Mark Degotardi, CEO of Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW):

“With an unprecedented number of people in NSW facing housing stress and homelessness, the demand for affordable housing is out of control.

“We are experiencing a full-blown housing crisis as rental prices skyrocket while the availability of rental housing is at a record low.“

Investment in social and affordable housing, through not-for-profit community housing providers, is the key to addressing the growing crisis in getting people off the social housing waitlist, out of rental housing stress and into long-term affordable housing.”

Quotes attributable to Trina Jones, CEO of Homelessness NSW

“The housing crisis in NSW is also a homeless crisis. People who have always been able to rent are being forced out by cost and finding themselves with no other options.

“We can’t solve this without more housing, it’s as simple as that and we’re calling on both sides of politics to step up and commit to raise the net stock of social housing from the current 4.7 percent to 10 percent.

“Homelessness NSW is urging the NSW Government to partner with the Australian Government to urgently build 5000 net new social housing dwellings a year for ten years to make the start that is so desperately needed by the people waiting ten years on the social housing waiting list.”

Quotes attributable to Adina Cirson, Acting NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia:

“The housing supply crisis in NSW is the biggest challenge facing our state and is poised to become an economic crisis without intervention.

“What is needed by the next government is a laser like focus on the policy levers that can be used to make sure we are all able to deliver against housing targets. 

“We need to make sure we have a diversity of housing supply where and when we need it.”

Quotes attributable to John Engeler, CEO of Shelter NSW

“The private housing market is consistently failing to provide well-located, well-built and truly affordable housing for ordinary people on low incomes.

“The NSW Government has the powers, resources and land to ensure that as the state grows, people are not left behind.”

About the Good Growth Alliance:

The Good Growth Alliance is a partnership of housing, property, and business peak organisations with a shared vision of creating more sustainable and liveable cities and regional areas. Members are the Community Housing Industry Association NSW, Homelessness NSW, the Property Council of Australia, and Shelter NSW.

Download the Good Growth Alliance’s advocacy platform document here.

CHIA NSW elects new Board and Chair

Media release

13 December 2022

The Board of the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has elected a new Chair and Deputy Chair at its meeting on Friday 9th December 2022.

CHIA NSW is delighted to announce that Rebecca Pinkstone has been elected as Chair and Charles Northcote as Deputy Chair.

Rebecca Pinkstone is the Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Housing and has spent nearly two decades working in social and affordable housing. Before joining Bridge Housing, Rebecca worked for the NSW Government in a variety of senior roles to deliver major social housing reforms to improve services and grow the community housing sector.

Charles Northcote is CEO of BlueCHP and brings over 35 years of international leadership across the construction, resources, and business sectors. As CEO of BlueCHP, Charles has helped BlueCHP become the leading developer of Specialist Disability Accommodation under the NDIS, participate in the successful initial NHFIC $315m bond raising in the Australian capital markets, and raised new funding through government and private investors.

Three new Board members were also elected for three-year terms at the CHIA NSW AGM. CHIA NSW congratulates the following Board members on their election:

  • Robyn Evans, GM Community Services and Community Housing, BaptistCare
  • Debbie Georgopoulos, CEO, Women’s Housing Company
  • Andrew McAnulty, CEO, Link Wentworth


CHIA NSW looks forward to working with the new Board members and drawing on their experience and perspectives as it looks to support the continued success of the sector.

The changes on the CHIA NSW Board follows the resignation of former Chair, Michele Adair following her appointment as Chair of Homes Tasmania and the completion of the Board terms of Leonie King (former Deputy Chair) and Lyndall Robertshaw. CHIA NSW is deeply indebted to all three former Board members and thanks them for their professionalism, passion, and support for the community housing sector.

Media Contact: Tanya Evans 0424 156 146

Interest rate rise bad news for renters in NSW and will push more families into housing stress or homelessness

Media release

6 December 2022

The interest rate rise announced by the Reserve Bank today will put even more pressure on renters across NSW, said the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW).

The RBA announced it will increase rates by a quarter of a percentage point, taking the cash rate to a decade high of 3.1 per cent.

“Today’s record announcement on interest rates is bad news for families renting in NSW, who are already doing it tough,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW and spokesperson for the Confront the Crisis campaign.

CHIA NSW said that interest rate increases combined with low vacancy rates are pushing more people into rental stress and even homelessness.

“Soaring interest rates have a butterfly effect, as many landlords pass on the increases to renters. And with record-low vacancy rates, many families have no choice but to pay the higher rent and live in housing stress, or face homelessness,” said Mr Degotardi.

The rate rise comes hours after NSW Labor announced that if it were elected in the 2023 State Election, it would introduce a target of 30% social and affordable housing on surplus public land, an announcement CHIA NSW welcomed.

“Setting bold targets in our state’s planning system is crucial to boosting social and affordable housing stock, but it’s imperative NSW Labor engage with the community housing sector early so this initiative has its desired impact,” said Mr Degotardi.

CHIA NSW has launched a campaign, Confront the Crisis, calling on political parties to confront the housing crisis and commit to cutting the social housing waitlist.

“NSW is in the midst of an escalating crisis and it’s time the State Government treated it with the urgency it deserves, by investing in social and affordable housing delivered by not-for-profit community housing providers,” said Mr Degotardi.

“There are 50,000 families and individuals on the waiting list for social housing in NSW alone, and many are waiting more than 10 years. This latest interest rate rise will drive demand even higher,” said Mr Degotardi.

“It’s time for the State Government to confront this crisis, and invest in the social and affordable housing NSW desperately needs,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media Contact: Tanya Evans 0424 156 146

More social and affordable housing is urgently needed to fix the rental crisis, following dire figures in today’s Rental Affordability Index

Media release

29 November 2022

Today’s Rental Affordability Index shows that more social and affordable homes are desperately needed in NSW, with figures revealing a single person on JobSeeker in Greater Sydney spending 116 per cent of their income in rent.

The situation in regional NSW is also dire, with a single renter on JobSeeker spending 72 per cent of their income in keeping a roof over their heads.

A single pensioner spends 69 per cent of their income on rent in Greater Sydney, according to today’s Index.

The Index also revealing:

  • Lismore is one of the worst affected areas with affordability dropping by 10 per cent
  • Regional areas including Orange and Mudgee have become unaffordable
  • Coastal areas of regional NSW have experienced the greatest decline in affordability over the past two years.

CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi, said more needs to be done to confront the housing crisis in NSW.

“Interest rates are continuing to rise which is causing a knock-on effect for renters with prices skyrocketing at the same time rental vacancies are at an historic low,” Mr Degotardi said.

“An unprecedented number of NSW residents are facing housing stress and homelessness, with the demand for affordable housing now out of control.

“Many families are facing the prospect of a bleak Christmas- unable to afford to buy gifts due to rising rents or facing uncertainty about where they’ll be living in the new year.

“The private rental market just cannot provide enough affordable homes for renters. That’s why targeted investment in social and affordable homes is critical.

“CHIA NSW is calling on all political parties in NSW to make a commitment to invest in social and affordable homes to ensure low-income families have a place to call home.  

“There are already over 50,000 families and individuals on the waiting list for social housing in NSW alone. In regional NSW, that figure is 16,700. These are all families who need long-term, secure homes.

“Social and affordable housing, built by not-for-profit community housing providers, will do what private development can’t. It will give low-income families renting across our state a long-term secure home.

“We need urgent investment from the State Government to build more social and affordable housing to get families in NSW out of the housing crisis and into long-term, secure homes,” Mr Degotardi said.

ENDS

Media contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

New report shows Sydney has more residents with unmet housing needs than anywhere in Australia

Media release

22 November 2022

A new report has revealed Sydney has the highest rate of people experiencing unmet housing needs amongst Australia’s capital cities, highlighting the desperate need for greater investment in social and affordable housing from the NSW Government.

The ‘Quantifying Australia’s unmet housing need’ report released today by Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) shows there are more than 640,000 households in Australia whose housing needs are unmet, with that figure projected to soar to 940,000 nationally by 2041.

The situation is particularly dire in Sydney which accounts for 7.6 per cent of Australia’s unmet housing needs alone. Inner South West Sydney, South West Sydney and Parramatta were all in Australia’s top five regions for the highest proportion of households with unmet housing needs, according to the report.

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) reflected on the ugly picture the report painted of Sydney and regional NSW’s housing crisis.

 “Today’s report reaffirms how real this housing crisis is for NSW families – and those living in Sydney and regional NSW are at its epicentre,” said CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi.

“There is an unacceptable number of families in Sydney who are being deprived of their basic human right of access to a safe, secure and affordable home to live in.

 “Those outside of Sydney have not received any respite either, with regional NSW being second only to regional Queensland when it comes to the number of families in extreme housing distress,” said Mr. Degotardi.

The report shows that families make up an alarming 57 per cent of those with unmet housing needs in Sydney.

“There are 50,000 individuals and families on the social housing waitlist and there are many more desperately looking for affordable rental housing,” said Mr Degotardi.

“That number is only going to increase unless politicians from across the political spectrum commit to investing in social and affordable housing, delivered by not-for-profit community housing providers. “With all these needs going unmet, its time the NSW Government confronts this crisis and takes responsibility to ensure everyone in this state has a safe place to call home,” said Mr Degotardi.

ENDS

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424 156 146

Political parties called on to confront unprecedented housing crisis ahead of State Election

Media release

16 November 2022

Every political party is today being called on to confront the unprecedented housing crisis ahead of the NSW State Election in 2023.

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) will launch a campaign today calling on political parties to Confront the Crisis and commit to cutting down the social housing waitlist.

“Interest rates are continuing to rise, rental prices are skyrocketing, while the availability of rental housing is at record lows across NSW. This is a full-blown housing crisis,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW. 

“With unprecedented numbers of NSW residents facing housing stress and homelessness, the demand for affordable housing is out of control.

There are 50,000 households on the social housing waitlist in NSW according to data from June 2021. CHIA NSW has lodged a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the NSW Government to release the latest social housing waitlist figures.

“We know that as of June last year there were 50,000 families and individuals on the social housing waitlist, but we expect the current figures to be even worse and we need to understand the current demand. 

CHIA NSW is hosting a launch event for the Confront the Crisis campaign today, hosted by journalist Sarah Harris and featuring a panel of people with first-hand experience of the housing crisis.

Mr Degotardi said that social and affordable housing in NSW has been chronically underfunded for decades, but that our state leaders have a chance to fix this.

“Investment in social and affordable housing, through not-for-profit community housing providers, is the key to addressing the growing crisis. This will get people off the waiting list, out of rental housing stress and into long-term, secure and affordable homes,” he said. 

“We’ve seen the Federal Government leading the way in addressing Australia’s housing crisis, but it’s now time for our state leaders to step up and take responsibility for a problem they can no longer ignore.

“We’re launching a campaign today to call on the State Government to confront the crisis by investing in community housing,” said Mr Degotardi.

The public is invited to RSVP for the launch event here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confront-the-crisis-campaign-launch-tickets-449921255587 

Learn more and join our campaign at https://confrontthecrisis.com/.

ENDS

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424 156 146

New record-low vacancy rate means NSW Government must urgently act to alleviate pressure for renters

Media release

04 November 2022

The peak body for community housing in NSW, Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) is calling on the NSW Government to urgently invest in community housing to address the record-low rental vacancy rate in Sydney.

“This is the toughest rental market people in NSW have ever faced, with the data released today showing another new record-low vacancy rate in Sydney,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The housing crisis is worsening, with the situation for renters growing more dire every month. This is a rental housing emergency, and it demands an urgent response from the NSW Government,” he said.

The data released by Domain for October shows that vacancy rates in Sydney fell to a new record low of 1 per cent, with Domain warning the market will continue to worsen.

“Decades of chronic under-investment in social and affordable rental housing by successive governments is one of the key causes of the current housing crisis,” said Mr Degotardi.

“There are at least 50,000 individuals and families on the social housing waitlist. Many more are desperately looking for affordable rental housing. The number of ordinary Australians who can’t keep a safe and secure roof over their head will only rise in this broken housing market,” said Mr Degotardi.

Mr Degotardi said ahead of next year’s election, politicians from across the political spectrum must commit to increasing the supply of social housing – including community housing – a form of housing managed by not-for-profit providers.

“By investing in community housing, creating a planning system that supports affordable rental housing and facilitating strategic partnerships to leverage Government investment, we can turn this crisis around,” he said.

“The NSW Government cannot be a bystander to this emergency. They must confront the crisis and take responsibility,” said Mr Degotardi.

RELEASE ENDS

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424 156 146