50,000 families on housing waitlist left out in the cold by State Budget

Media release

21 June 2022

The NSW Government has left no hope for the tens of thousands of families across NSW on the social housing waitlist and at risk of homelessness, as the Budget failed to deliver any significant investment in social and affordable housing, Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) said today.

“This winter will be colder than ever for the more than 50,000 families on the state’s social housing waitlist, knowing there is little help coming their way in the State Budget,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Policy at CHIA NSW.

“While announcing a range of new initiatives geared towards prospective home-owners, the NSW Government seems to have forgotten the third of their population who are renters, many struggling just to keep a roof over their heads.

“Interest rates and rental prices are rising, the cost of living is soaring, and our state is in the midst of a housing vulnerability crisis. The social housing waitlist has average wait times in many parts of the state of up to more than 10 years.

“There will be 320 new social housing properties built as announced in this Budget, a number which falls desperately short of what our state needs,’ Ms McDowell said.

CHIA NSW responded to several announcements made in the Budget relating to social and affordable housing which are summarised below:  

  • $37 million has been committed towards delivering 120 new social housing dwellings for households in the Together Home program. The program has housed nearly 800 people in two years, but 120 new homes in the Budget is not enough to break the cycle of homelessness in NSW.
  • $300 million was pledged towards maintenance and upgrades to more than 15,800 social housing properties to address a severe backlog. While necessary, maintenance and upgrades will merely keep the lights on in existing homes without making any increase to housing supply.
  • $149.8 million was announced for delivering 200 new and 260 upgraded homes for First Nations people. These initiatives are a positive start in addressing the Closing the Gap housing targets and improving housing outcomes for First Nations peoples.
  • $500 million will go towards housing infrastructure, planning, and rezoning initiatives aimed at delivering new homes across the state. However, these initiatives will not guarantee improved affordability outcomes for renters.

CHIA NSW said that the Government is focused on home ownership and infrastructure while ignoring those struggling to find a safe, secure and affordable home.

“These announcements provide little evidence to demonstrate that the NSW Government is committed to addressing the housing vulnerability crisis,’ Ms McDowell said.

“These are everyday people who are being left to shelter on couches or in cars, caravan parks and even the streets. And yet our Government has turned its back on them,” said Ms McDowell.

CHIA NSW is calling on the Government to make a real and long-term commitment to invest in social housing.

“We know when people make it into social housing, their lives are transformed – you only have to look at our Prime Minister to know how true this is,” Ms McDowell said.

Community housing providers are not-for-profit, meaning they can invest every dollar made back into the community, building more housing, supporting local jobs, and most importantly improving the lives of the families and individuals who live in the housing.

“Community housing providers have built more than 5,300 homes and generated over $1.7 billion of economic activity over the last decade and are ready to do more. We cannot do it alone,” Ms McDowell said.

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

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Open letter from Community Housing providers, homelessness peaks and think tank to NSW leaders: you must act to address housing vulnerability this Budget

Media release

21 June 2022

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), Homelessness NSW, Shelter NSW and Committee for Sydney are urging the NSW Premier and Treasurer to address the worsening housing vulnerability crisis in today’s State Budget.

In an open letter to Premier Dominic Perrottet and Treasurer Matt Kean released today, the community housing and homelessness peaks, advocates and think tank said the queue of more than 50,000 people on the social housing waitlist will only get worse if the NSW Government fails to act.

The open letter says rising interest rates and rental prices, and the spiralling cost-of-living mean that more NSW families will struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

Quotes attributable to CHIA NSW Head of Policy Caitlin McDowell:

“This open letter is a clear message to the NSW Premier and Treasurer: this Budget you have a responsibility to ensure families in NSW have a place to call home.

“Our state is in the midst of a housing vulnerability crisis, with more than 50,000 families on the waitlist for social housing.

“The floods, rising interest rates and the spiralling cost-of-living means that we know this crisis is only going to get worse without real, long-term investment from the NSW Government.”

Quotes attributable to Committee for Sydney Deputy CEO Ehssan Veiszadeh:

“Sydney is facing an affordability crisis, with rising inflation and stagnant wages hitting families across our city.

“We need an ambitious plan that puts supply of new homes, near train and Metro stations, at its heart.

“We also need to see much more investment in social and affordable housing.”

Quotes attributable to Homelessness NSW CEO Trina Jones:

“We can’t solve homelessness without housing.

“We welcome the much-needed support for crisis services but to end homelessness there must be long term investment in social housing.”

Quotes attributable to Shelter NSW CEO John Engeler:

“This budget does what is easy rather than what is right. ‘Quicker’ targeted home ownership is admirable – but is not available to all, and this budget ignores that.”

“Good governments have budgets that show secure housing includes greater protection for the growing number of precarious renters – often now in the regions.

“Great governments lead where the market falls short: NSW needs to restore its place as the innovative leader in all types of social housing.”

The open letter is available here.

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

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NSW Government must not forget the more than 50,000 families on the housing waitlist in the State Budget

Media release

20 June 2022

The NSW State Government appears to have forgotten the 50,000 families on the social housing waitlist in the state, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) says in response to the Government’s Budget announcements about housing.

“The Government’s announcements focus solely on home ownership and infrastructure and ignores those struggling to just keep a roof over their heads,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Policy at CHIA NSW.

“Our state is in the midst of a housing vulnerability crisis. There are more than 50,000 NSW families on the social housing waitlist, with wait times up to 10 years and more.

“We know this list will grow even longer with interest rates driving up rents, the rising cost-of-living, and the NSW floods putting even more pressure on families.

“The Government’s announcements offer these families no hope,” Ms McDowell said.

Ms McDowell said that she hoped tomorrow’s State Budget would include a significant allocation of resources to substantially increase the supply of social housing.

“Our housing system is failing, letting hundreds of thousands of people down because successive Governments at all levels have failed to develop strategies and policies that would create a fairer housing market for all.

“The NSW Government has the chance in tomorrow’s State Budget to make a real difference to the lives of so many people doing it tough by investing significantly in social and affordable housing,” Ms McDowell said.

CHIA NSW is calling on the State Government to address the growing crisis by:

• $200 million per annum for the next two years to deliver social housing in Greater Sydney, Wollongong, and the Central Coast through the Community Housing
Innovation Fund
• A $500 million investment in a regional housing program to deliver social and affordable homes in the regions, delivered in partnership with non-profit
community housing providers
• Provide permanent housing for participants in the Together Home program, by building an additional 200 social housing properties over two years for people
exiting the program.

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

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The incoming ALP Government’s housing policies

So you don’t have to do, we’ve put together the incoming ALP Government’s housing policies

23 May 2022

It’s now official that the Australian Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, will form Australia’s new Federal Government.

Ahead of them getting to work, here are the housing policies announced throughout their election campaign:

Labor will create the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years. Each year investment returns from the Housing Australia Future Fund will be transferred to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to pay for social and affordable housing projects.

In its first five years, the Fund will aim to build around 20,000 social housing properties (4000 specifically for women and children escaping domestic and family violence and older women at risk of homelessness), and 10,000 affordable homes for key workers. Additionally, the returns from the Fund will pay for $200 million for the repair, maintenance and improvements of housing in remote Indigenous communities and $30 million to build more housing and fund specialist services for veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

The Help to Buy program will give 10,000 Australians per year the opportunity to share ownership of a home with the Government which will put in up to 40% of the purchase price for a new home, and up to 30% for an existing home. Under Help to Buy, eligible homebuyers would pay a 2% rather than a 5% deposit, and would avoid the need for lenders mortgage insurance.

The Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme will aim to assist 10,000 first-home buyers a year in regional Australia purchase a home. Labor says those buyers will save up to $32,000 in mortgage insurance and be able to secure a home with a deposit as low as 5 per cent – with the government guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of the purchase price.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, established in 2018 as a corporate Commonwealth entity built to support housing outcomes nationally, will be renamed Housing Australia.

The ALP will establish a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, which will be advised by experts from various sectors with the aim to finding the best approaches to increasing housing supply and improving affordability.

The National Housing and Homelessness Plan will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders from across national, state and territory, and local governments and private sectors. It will aim to set key short, medium and longer term reforms needed to increase the supply and affordability of homes to buy and rent and reducing rates of homelessness.

$2 billion for non-profit housing a step towards the homes Australians desperately need, but still falls short

Media release

29 March 2022

The budget’s $2 billion increase to the National Housing Investment and Finance Corporation (NHFIC) liability cap will help non-profits build affordable homes for renters, create jobs and spur economic growth, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) says.

The increase will enable community housing providers to access lower cost loans to build new social and affordable housing, addressing the national shortfall at lower cost to the taxpayer.

“Today’s increase to the liability cap is welcome news for the thousands of Australian families who have been priced out of the private rental market and desperately need a home they can afford,” says Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation is an incredibly successful initiative which has already supported more than 15,000 new and existing social and affordable homes across Australia.

“However, it’s clear that NHFIC alone cannot solve Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Over 150,000 households are on the social housing waiting list, and more than one million households are in acute rental stress.

By the Federal Government’s own projections, this additional investment will support around 10,000 more affordable homes – which clearly falls short.

“Community housing providers are ready to step up and help our governments build the 891,000 social and affordable homes that Australians need over the next 20 years, but we need the Federal Government to take this issue seriously.”

CHIA NSW welcomes the Federal Government’s $100 million funding injection for the Safe Places Program, which will provide additional emergency and crisis accommodation for women and children escaping from family, domestic and sexual violence.

“Family and domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children,” says Mr Degotardi.

“The lack of affordable housing options means that women are often forced to make an impossible choice between violence and homelessness.

“We’re pleased to see that the Federal Government has committed to expanding the Safe Places Program, which will help thousands more women and children to safely escape domestic and family violence every year.

“Crisis accommodation is crucial, but it is only temporary. Women and children also need access to long term, affordable, housing options that provide them with every opportunity to rebuild their financial security.

“Community housing providers have already provided a safe home to thousands of women and children escaping violence. With the government’s support, we can do so much more.”

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

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Government housing report fails to address needs of all Australians

Media release

18 March 2022

The Federal Government must broaden its focus from home ownership to providing tangible support for the growing number of struggling renters and homeless, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW said today following the release of the final report of the ‘Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia’.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue’s report released today confirms the Federal Government’s appetite to prioritise supporting Australians into home ownership and explore the potential of emerging models like discount-to-market rent-to-own affordable housing.

“The biggest takeaway from this report is that the Federal Government is deeply concerned with the supply and affordability of housing for Australians to own, yet they’ve completely ignored addressing a desperate need for greater supply of social and affordable housing,” says Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“There is no problem with the report’s claims that home ownership provides real social benefits, but those benefits will never be experienced by people who may never be able to buy a home.

“Australia needs real and specific policies being delivered by its governments which will deliver more social and affordable housing, not fantasies of all Australians owning their own home,” Mr. Degotardi said.

The report narrows its focus when considering social and affordable housing “to the extent of three specific issues: ‘rent-to-own’ housing models, shared equity schemes, the role of private investment, and crisis housing.”

“Whilst exploring the potential of models and programs such as those examined in the report is an undeniably valuable exercise in helping address the crisis we face, the narrowing of focus on them instead of properly addressing the dire shortages of social and affordable housing is a complete swing-and-a-miss by the Federal Government,” Mr Degotardi said.

“There are 150,000 households on the social housing waitlist in Australia. Over one million households are in acute rental stress and struggling to make ends meet: women and children escaping domestic violence, older Australians receiving the pension, people below retirement age unable to find employment, and even low-income earners like childcare and aged care workers.

“Real leadership means confronting reality and leading for the future. In NSW alone, another 68,000 households will need social housing by 2060. If Australia doesn’t start urgently boosting that supply, we’re facing a national crisis that has social and economic impacts.

“Community housing providers are ready to step up and help Australia meet this challenge. The Federal Government must take this report seriously and do the same.

“CHIA NSW calls on the Federal Government to support the social and affordable housing sector now so we can start addressing the problems this report discusses for all Australians,” Mr Degotardi said.

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Joint statement: Housing for people on low incomes must be a priority of NSW flood disaster recovery

Joint media release

7 March 2022

A coalition of peak bodies is urging the NSW Government to invest in an immediate housing recovery package to support communities affected by the NSW flood emergency.

NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), Aboriginal Community Housing Industry Association NSW (ACHIA NSW) and Homelessness NSW are calling for:

 Establish immediate temporary housing options for people on low incomes,
 Prioritise the rebuilding of existing social housing affected by the floods,
 Invest in additional social and affordable housing to address the critical shortage of housing in the flood impacted areas, and
 Make recovery grants immediately available to local community housing, Aboriginal and homelessness services to assist people made homeless as a result of the floods.

The peaks have released a joint statement detailing the immediate steps needed to address the housing and homelessness crisis which will be significantly exacerbated by widespread flooding events. That statement can be found below this media release.

The organisations said the scale of the disaster in northern NSW deserved an urgent and proportionate response.

“We are seeing devastation throughout northern NSW, and we need an immediate response to support those now without a roof over their head,” NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said.

“We welcome the Premier’s acknowledgment that housing will be a priority in the recovery effort. We look forward to working with him to urgently support communities in need, including those who were already experiencing disadvantage and who can be hardest hit when disaster strikes.”

The North Coast of NSW was already at the forefront of the housing crisis – with 250 people on the priority housing waiting list at June 2021 and a private rental market vacancy rate of 0.5%.

The 2021 Tweed, Byron Bay and Lismore homelessness street counts identified over 300 people sleeping rough. 

“Before the floods of recent days, North Coast families were already being forced to live in tents, cars, and other makeshift arrangements because they couldn’t afford a home,” Homelessness NSW CEO, Katherine McKernan said.

“The devastating floods in regional areas like the NSW North Coast have turned a difficult housing market into an impossible one.  A massive and speedy response is required to help these communities,” CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi said.

“Community housing providers are ready to support the NSW Government and industry partners in getting communities struck by flooding on the road to recovery, starting with making sure people have a safe and secure roof over their head,” Mr. Degotardi said.

NSW had a housing and homelessness crisis before the floods with 50,000 applicants on the social housing waiting list and a private rental market that is unaffordable, particularly in regional NSW.

More than 30% of all clients of homelessness services are Aboriginal. Homelessness services are supporting 25% more clients than funded for and are turning away more clients than they can accommodate due to high demand that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“For many Aboriginal communities, the problems of overcrowding in substandard housing and the detrimental impacts of this on health and well-being have been longstanding. The situation will now be so much worse – this catastrophe will widen the gap in life outcomes even further,” ACHIA NSW CEO, Lisa Sampson said.

RELEASE ENDS

Joint statement

7 March 2022

The NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), NSW Aboriginal Community Housing Industry Association (ACHIA NSW) and Homelessness NSW call on the NSW Government to fund a significant and immediate housing recovery package to address both the short and long-term impact of floods across NSW.

NCOSS, CHIA NSW, Homelessness NSW and ACHIA NSW acknowledge the NSW Premier’s statement that this will be priority and call on the NSW Government to provide funding and coordination across NSW to:

 Establish immediate temporary housing options for people on low incomes,
 Prioritise the rebuilding of existing social housing affected by the floods,
 Invest in additional social and affordable housing to address the critical shortage of housing in the flood impacted areas, and
 Make recovery grants immediately available to local community housing, Aboriginal and homelessness services to assist people made homeless as a result of the floods.

Given the high number of Aboriginal families affected by the floods, housing for Aboriginal communities needs to be a priority.

NSW had a housing and homelessness crisis before the floods with 50,000 applicants on the social housing waiting list and a private rental market that is unaffordable, particularly in regional NSW. More than 30% of all clients of homelessness services are Aboriginal. Homelessness services are supporting 25% more clients than funded for and are turning away more clients than they can accommodate due to high demand that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

North Coast NSW was already at the forefront of this crisis – with 250 people on the priority housing waiting list at June 2021 and a private rental market vacancy rate of 0.5%. The 2021 Tweed, Byron Bay and Lismore homelessness street counts identified over 300 people sleeping rough.  Before the devastating floods of recent days, North Coast families were already being forced to live in tents, cars and other makeshift arrangements because there was simply nowhere affordable or available for them to live.

Many households are still affected by previous floods and bushfires in the region, living in overcrowded or substandard conditions with significant health, safety and well-being impacts.  This includes Aboriginal families and communities who were already disproportionately impacted by disadvantage.  

As NSW recovers from these latest catastrophic floods, the provision of housing for all, but particularly for people on low incomes must be a priority. Community housing and homelessness services in the North Coast area are already very concerned about the future for their tenants and clients, and their ability to provide adequate shelter and support, as the water recedes and the extent of the devastation is apparent. Action now can help avert the longer-term trauma of the floods. 

The scale of the floods and their disproportionate impact on low-income people mean NSW is in danger of seeing a new generation of people forced into homelessness, living rough or in overcrowded and unfit dwellings.  

The Government’s response must be significant and immediate.  The families of the North Coast cannot wait. 

We must not allow a repeat of the increased and extended homelessness that was created on the South Coast in the aftermath of the bushfires.  We need a swift, coordinated and resourced housing response that supports the flood affected communities to recover and allow them to get on with their lives.

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CHIA NSW/VIC launch Digital Transformation project, provider reps needed

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW and CHIA Victoria have teamed up to launch a Digital Transformation project and are now calling for CHPs in each state to join an Industry Steering Group.

Background

CHIA NSW is thrilled to be working with CHIA Vic and grateful for the funding support from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and Victorian Governments as well as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) on what will be an innovative and valuable step forward for the sector.

With the community housing sector still a relatively small market segment in the eyes of major technology players and providers, there is work to be done to develop digital technologies to increase the efficiency of CHPs’ operations and enhance the service they provide to vulnerable people, many of whom are marginalised in the digital divide.

New digital technologies (like mobile platforms, tenant portals, e-payment options and many more) can be a catalyst for change and will improve service delivery by supporting CHPs to interact with tenants through additional, more efficient channels. The project will take into account the needs of all tenants, regardless of access or ability to use technology.

Giving tenants the ability to conduct more self-service (like logging repairs and maintenance requests) will allow providers to work with a more mobile workforce, increasing efficiency and freeing up time and resources to focus on engaging with their tenants in meaningful ways.

The project comes after scoping workshops with CHPs which showed a shared interest in working collectively to better understand and develop technological capabilities across the sector. It aims to support organisations to understand their future IT needs and available solutions and to develop plans to upgrade IT infrastructure in order to improve the client experience, ensure data quality, improve cyber security and increase efficiency by eliminating manual processes and double handling.  

Provider representatives needed

A critical element of the project is developing a CHP-led Industry Steering Group made up of three providers from NSW and three from Victoria. The Steering Group is an important opportunity to provide an industry voice to the project and shape its direction.  CHIA NSW and Victoria are seeking reference group members with an interest and experience in technology to provide expert strategic input into the group. The group is expected to meet quarterly between now and November.

CHIA NSW and CHIA Vic are encouraging providers of any size with IT experience to express interest to join the group and provide invaluable industry-perspectives on the work. You can express interest by emailing [email protected].

Project plan

The project includes four stages: strategy phase; digital transformation phase; consortium based approaches phase; and cyber security phase. The key aims and deliverables of the project are listed below:

  • Develop a detailed and community housing specific digital transformation process map for the community housing industry.  The process map will be based on:
    • A baseline stocktake of CHPs’ digital channel capabilities to be conducted through a self-assessment process based on a template to be developed by the project consultants.  This will provide an update to the technological capability survey conducted in 2017 under the Technology Mapping IDS project.
    • A sector visioning process that will establish the industry’s long-term objectives for digital transformation. 
    • Detailed persona and journey mapping to identify the needs and technical requirements for different client[1] and staff personas.  These personas will be able to be adapted and updated by each CHP as necessary.  CHIA NSW will work with the industry reference group and the digital network to select personas for this aspect of the project.

  • Develop an implementation guide that CHPs can use to inform their specific digital transformation plans.

Additional information and contact details

This project would not have been possible without funding from the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice & Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety, as well as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC). CHIA NSW thanks all parties for their support.

For more information or to express interest in joining the Industry Steering Group, contact Business Development Manager Adam West at [email protected].


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3,000 homes to exit affordable housing system as Federal Government axes housing scheme

28 November 2021 – Thousands of low-income families will lose access to affordable housing and be fighting for alternative private rental options as the Federal Government pulls the plug on its affordable housing scheme over the next five years, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) warns.

The National Affordability Scheme (NRAS) has provided 6,470 affordable homes in NSW since it was introduced in 2008. A new report by CHIA NSW has warned that while Community Housing Providers will retain all 3,161 of the NRAS properties they own when the scheme ends, the private owners of 3,360 NRAS properties will stop leasing them as affordable housing.

This means 3,360 homes in NSW will exit the affordable housing system by 2026 with no plans from the Federal Government to replace the scheme, or the lost affordable housing.

The report also found NRAS was extremely successful when delivered by non-profit community housing providers. Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW says the Federal Government should reform and perfect the scheme instead of pulling the plug.

“There is absolutely no reason the why Federal Government should cancel a housing scheme that was clearly working when delivered by non-profit providers,” says Mr Degotardi.

“Why not reinvent the scheme and deliver it through community housing providers, with their proven track record of success, to provide thousands more affordable homes for Australian families who are struggling to afford private rentals?

“I can’t believe the Federal Government is now stripping affordable homes from low-income families with no plans to replace them when it’s never been more urgent to get more homes in the system.

“Both state and federal governments have an important role to play in providing social and affordable housing. But as the housing crisis worsens federal governments have turned their backs and abandoned their responsibilities.

“Right now, there are 50,000 families on the social housing wait list in NSW alone. Losing 3,360 affordable homes will have a devastating impact on a system that is already in crisis.

“The supply of affordable housing will decrease as a result, and demand for rentals will increase as people are evicted from ex-NRAS properties. These low-income families will find themselves suddenly without a home and be forced to compete with higher income households in the private rental market.

“Many families will be forced to move away from their communities in search of lower rents – which means moving away from their children’s’ schools, their workplaces and their support networks.”

CHIA NSW is calling for the Federal Government to provide an extended subsidy for existing NRAS properties to help retain a proportion of existing NRAS properties, and to co-invest in a significant new social and affordable housing program in the next National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.

“We need urgent action to retain existing affordable housing, and investment in social and affordable housing to increase the supply,” says Mr Degotardi.

“Unless the Federal Government makes provisions to reform or replace the scheme, they are willingly plunging us further into the housing crisis.”


Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

CHIA NSW report, “What’s next for NRAS” is available to download here.

Rental Affordability Index yet another sign social and affordable housing is urgently needed to fix the renting crisis

24 November – Today’s Rental Affordability Index shows that more social and affordable homes are desperately needed in NSW, with lower-income renting households worse off than they were before the pandemic.

The Index, released today, found that renters in regional areas in NSW are in desperate need, with thousands of people relocating from metropolitan areas during the pandemic. A single person on JobSeeker living in regional NSW would pay 63% of their income on rent.

The situation for renters in Greater Sydney is also dire, with a single person on JobSeeker spending 110% of their income on rent.

CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi, said the NSW Government and Federal Government must work together to invest in social and affordable homes to ensure low-income families have a place to call home.  

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

“There are already over 50,000 families 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.

“Today’s Index is yet another flashing neon sign to our State and Federal Governments that renters are struggling. Immediate responses are required to respond to this growing crisis.

CHIA NSW is calling on the State Government to commit to long-term investment, in partnership with the Federal Government, local government and the community housing sector to provide relief to families in severe housing stress.

“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.

“Not-for-profit community housing providers have shovel-ready projects that would provide desperately needed homes for NSW families struggling to get by. Investment in providing affordable rental housing through community housing providers will get more homes on the ground more quickly and provide some hope for families facing a bleak Christmas.

“We need more investment from the State Government to get these projects underway – and to get families in NSW out of housing stress and into long-term, secure homes.”

Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029