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Record-low rental vacancy rates highlight desperate need for social housing investment from NSW Government

Media release

5 September 2022

The peak body for community housing in NSW, Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), says that data showing record-low rental vacancy rates shows the desperate need for urgent investment in social housing from the NSW Government.

“Families in NSW are facing a housing vulnerability crisis, and the vacancy data released today shows that it’s escalating,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

The data released today by Domain show that vacancy rates for rental homes in Sydney have halved in a year to a record-low of 1.2 per cent, while in regional Australia it fell to just 0.6 per cent.

CHIA NSW says that rents in NSW have also risen over 10% in the past year to June 2022, according to published data from the Department of Communities and Justice.

“There aren’t enough homes available to rent, rental prices are sky-rocketing and the demand for social housing is far beyond what is available,” said Mr Degotardi.

“There are 50,000 families on the social housing waitlist in NSW. These are everyday families, and in many cases they’re waiting up to ten years or more for a secure, affordable home,” Mr Degotardi said.

Mr Degotardi said that urgent investment in social housing was critical for addressing the growing crisis.

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

“With rising interest rates and rising cost of living pressures, the pressure on vulnerable renters will only get worse,” he said.

“The NSW Government cannot be a bystander to this crisis. It needs to step up and take responsibility for ensuring NSW families have a place to call home,” said Mr Degotardi. 

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029

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Community housing peak body meets with local Wagga Wagga MP to discuss urgent action needed to house 515 families

Media release

25 August 2022

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) and local provider Argyle Housing met today with MP for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr to discuss the urgent action needed to house 515 local families on the social housing waitlist.

“Wagga Wagga has an acute social housing crisis. There are 515 families on the social housing waitlist in the local area and we know people are waiting for 2 to 5 years or more in some cases before they receive social housing,” said Carolyn Doherty, CEO of Argyle Housing.

“The fact is, there just aren’t enough social and affordable homes in Wagga Wagga and the waiting list is expected to grow.

“With the vacancy rate for private rentals in Wagga Wagga at 1.5 per cent, the rising cost-of-living and rents increasing, we know local families are going to find it tougher and tougher to keep a roof over their head,” said Ms Doherty.

CHIA NSW says the crisis is not isolated to just Wagga Wagga, with more than 50,000 families on the social housing waitlist across NSW. This number is expected to increase by an additional 68,000 households by 2061, according to the State Government’s own Intergenerational Report.

“Families in Wagga Wagga and right across the state are struggling to keep a roof over their head. They are sleeping on couches, in cars and even on the streets,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Policy at CHIA NSW.  

“The time for action is now. We need the State Government to invest in more social and affordable housing in Wagga Wagga to get these individuals and families off the waiting list, and into a home,” Ms McDowell said. 

Ms McDowell said she was grateful for local MP Dr Joe McGirr’s time to meet to discuss how social housing is the key to addressing this escalating crisis.

“Building more social housing would make a huge difference to the lives of families struggling to keep a roof over their head,” said Ms McDowell.

Community housing providers are not-for-profit organisations, who build homes where they are needed most.  

“We want to get families in our state into the secure homes they deserve, but we cannot do it alone. We need the State Government to deliver the investment to build the homes NSW desperately needs by working in partnership with community housing providers,” said Ms McDowell.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

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NSW Government must learn the lessons of the floods and urgently house devastated families

Media release

18 August 2022

The floods in Northern NSW have demonstrated how the housing crisis exposed low-income individuals and families to increased risk of disaster and homelessness, Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) said.

Following the release of the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry report, CHIA NSW is urging the Government to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and to urgently prioritise housing its citizens and protecting them from future disasters.

“Local families in the Northern Rivers have had their lives turned upside down by both natural disasters and a housing vulnerability crisis. Yet in the NSW Government’s response to this report, there is little certainty that there are long-term housing solutions for those families on the way,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The floods have exacerbated a housing vulnerability crisis that was already well underway and have shown just how exposed our communities are when the State Government doesn’t invest properly in social housing,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The NSW Government must invest in a significant new social housing supply program in the Northern Rivers to ensure that families currently in emergency housing can return to a safe and secure home.

“2,625 families were on the social housing wait list in the Northern Rivers region alone before the floods hit, so in reality this number would now be even higher.

“We know that around 120 social housing properties managed by local community housing providers in the Northern Rivers were lost or impacted by the floods, making it even more challenging for families to find housing in an already depleted market.

“In March when the floods hit, the vacancy rate for private rentals in Lismore was at a troubling 0.2%, that number only rising slightly by July.

CHIA NSW stressed the crucial role of community housing providers in supporting recovery efforts and future resilience in Northern NSW.

“We’re encouraged by the NSW Government supporting a range of recommendations to accelerate recovery and disaster preparedness, and implore it to engage with local community housing providers to implement those recommendations effectively,” Mr Degotardi said.

“The Independent Flood Inquiry report importantly recognises community housing providers as a central part of the solution to housing devastated local families in the Northern Rivers.

“Community housing providers are non-profit, so every dollar is invested back into the community to build homes and support local jobs at a time when that’s needed most,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

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Community Housing Industry Day wrap

Media release

1 August 2022

CHIA NSW recently held its Community Housing Industry Day, an event for members to reflect on the sector’s achievements and learnings and collaborate on priorities and opportunities to come.
 
Due to illness, the Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, the Hon Anthony Roberts was unable to speak at the event as planned. Emma Nicholson and Michelle Roberson from the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) stepped in to lead Q&A session with members about LAHC’s current focuses and how its relationship with the community housing sector can be further bolstered. This includes the updated Community Housing Direct Dealing Policy, which was recently revised in consultation with CHIA NSW and our members. The new policy is available here.
 
The strategic and environmental outlook of the sector was dissected by Nathan Dal Bon, CEO of National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and Dr Angela Jackson, Lead Economist at Impact Economics and Policy. Both speakers brought their own unique expertise to the event which subsequently garnered a lengthy discussion amongst attendees.
 
In other sessions, various CHIA NSW teams presented on projects covering climate change, the future of data, CHIA NSW’s Cadetship program, affordable housing, and employee capability frameworks.
 
Presentations throughout the day provided a stage to celebrate the recent achievements of the sector as well as a foundation to spring towards forthcoming opportunities, none more important than the 2023 NSW state election.

Soaring rental costs placing extra stress on older people facing homelessness

Media release

18 July 2022

Older residents in New South Wales are facing a fresh wave of housing and homelessness vulnerability with increased rental costs compounding pressure on growing waitlists for social housing.

Representatives of community housing and welfare providers will give evidence to the Upper House inquiry into Homelessness Amongst Older People Aged Over 55 in NSW today, calling for urgent action to address a growing homelessness crisis facing older people.

In Greater Sydney and the Illawarra, less than one percent of available rental properties were affordable to a single person receiving the aged pension as recently as March 2022 – that number only reaching as high as 4 percent across the regions.

New data from Domain reveals Sydney rent prices for houses have jumped almost 20 percent since the pandemic began, while rent prices for units have had their steepest annual increase in 14 years at over 10 percent, adding further rental stress to those on a fixed income such as the Aged Pension.

Case study

Marie Sillars became homeless following a marriage break up. She then lost her home and community in 2014 after the NSW Government sold off the Ivanhoe Estate she was living in. Marie advocated for safe and suitable housing for many of the tenants – meeting with politicians from both sides, attending committee meetings and engaging with community housing providers. Marie is now a resident with community housing provider, Link Wentworth.

Marie has experienced the trauma of housing stress as a single senior woman living in Sydney. In her submission to the Inquiry, she urges for change in policies and funding that will provide much needed service intervention and crisis support.

“The number of stories I hear through National Alliance of Seniors for Housing with senior women being homeless is heartbreaking,” Marie said.

“These women have raised children and been caregivers throughout their lives and find themselves alone, no superannuation or savings and cannot receive priority housing until they reach 80 years.

“There is no option for many of these women and can end up in insecure and unsafe housing or becoming homeless with no hope for the future,” Marie said.

Marie has made a submission to the inquiry and will appear at the hearing on Tuesday 19 July.

Many older people are becoming homeless for the first time later in life, especially older women.  There was an 88 percent increase in older women accessing homelessness services between 2013-14 and 2016-17 for a range of factors including divorce or a relationship breakdown, lower lifetime earnings or domestic violence in the home.

The number of older people who are homeless in NSW has been growing at an alarming rate in recent years. From 2011 to 2016, there was a 43 percent increase in the number of people aged 55 and over experiencing homelessness (from 4,475 to 6,407).

The situation for older people is likely to have deteriorated further since 2016, due to the pandemic and its associated economic and employment impacts, as well as the current cost of living and worsening housing crisis across NSW.

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), Community Housing Limited (CHL), St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army Australia, and Women’s Community Shelters have called for urgent action from the State Government to address the increase in older people facing homelessness in NSW.

Quotes attributable to CHIA NSW Head of Policy Caitlin McDowell:

“People are spending so much of their aged pension on rent that they are going without food, medicine or heating and those are the ones who aren’t couch-surfing, sleeping in their cars, or homeless.

“These people should not have to pay the price for decades of severe underinvestment in social and affordable housing by successive governments, and it is not too late to help them.

“We need a significant and long-term investment in social and affordable housing where the NSW Government partners with the community housing and not-for-profit sectors to deliver more housing and support services to older people.

Quotes attributable to the Salvation Army Australia Dr. Jed Donoghue, National Homelessness General Manager:

“Older people, like others experiencing homelessness, cope in different ways including by sleeping rough, finding temporary supported accommodation, living in boarding or rooming houses, caravan parks, hostels or other temporary lodging, squatting and living in over-crowded dwellings or staying temporarily in other households, for example ‘couch-surfing’.

“Within our family and domestic violence and homelessness services, it can be difficult to identify and collect data about older people in need as many people do not present to our services until they are in crisis and have very often exhausted all other options.

“Our family and domestic violence teams, in particular, report that client data on housing and specialised homelessness services for older women does not reflect the true demand for these services.

“Older women facing homelessness due to family and domestic violence will more often sleep in their cars, move between family members and friends’ homes, or may not even identify themselves as homeless.”

Quotes attributable to Women’s Community Shelters CEO, Annabelle Daniel OAM:

“Women’s Community Shelters have been working with older women experiencing homelessness since 2009.”

“We have warned of a tsunami of older women’s homelessness for over a decade, with over 450,000 women over 45 across Australia on low incomes, and who don’t own their own homes.”

“We have supported women through our crisis and transitional housing who have been tipped into unexpected homelessness through sudden illness, rent increases in a long-held property, an accident in an uninsured car or the loss of one shift of work per week.”

“Rental vacancy rates are extremely tight across Australia, with high levels of competition for each property. It’s not uncommon for women we support to attend property inspections, only to find they are competing against fifty to sixty other people, many of whom offer to pay over advertised rent or up to twelve months rent in advance. Women on government payments and on low incomes face a ‘Hunger Games’ competition everywhere they look.”

“Our ‘meanwhile use’ projects, Beecroft House, Mosman House and Allawah House, provide affordable transitional housing for women at risk of homelessness in partnership with Aged Care facilities and wonderful Community Housing provider partners. Over the next decade, we will need to be innovative with more meanwhile use and adaptive re-use programs as social housing takes time to build and competition for rentals will only increase.”

Quotes attributable to Community Housing Limited (CHL) State Manager, Megan Davidson:

CHL NSW State Manager, Megan Davidson, said urgent action is needed to provide essential housing infrastructure to ensure everyone has access to a safe, affordable home.

“At CHL we have seen a significant increase in the number of older people at risk of homelessness as a result of being priced out of the private rental market. Housing must be seen as critical infrastructure,” she said. 

“State and federal governments should urgently develop a national strategy to increase supply of housing for older Australians and people on low to moderate incomes.”

Each of these organisations will appear today at the Inquiry into homelessness amongst older people in NSW. Their submissions can be found here.

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

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NAIDOC Week 2022 wrap

Here’s how CHIA NSW and its members celebrated NAIDOC Week.

CHIA NSW

The CHIA NSW team came together for NAIDOC Week for an intimate closed-door event to discuss the meaning of NAIDOC Week, share a meal, and watch a classic film together.

Staff participated a lengthy roundtable discussion led by our own Jennifer Newman, Wiradjuri woman and CHIA NSW’s Aboriginal Studies Lead Trainer, and Paul Teerman, Darug man and Aboriginal Partnerships Specialist at CHIA NSW. A notable takeaway was the collective connection staff felt they shared towards NAIDOC Week’s 2022 theme of ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ and how it characterises the direction of the organisation. The group discussed how CHIA NSW can progress that direction in various ways, like how we meaningfully acknowledge Country in our work, meetings and events.

The team shared a meal made by Kallico Catering which featured eats like crocodile, emu and kangaroo sliders, and damper with native jam and cream. The group ate their food while watching the classic BabaKiueria, a 1986 Australian satirical film on the history of Aboriginal Australia.

Link Wentworth

We were delighted to have CHIA NSW’s own Paul Teerman speak at our Penrith Office on Tuesday 5 July. Paul spoke about the ways CHPs can better serve our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers, as well as how we can learn to respect and understand our natural environment by listening to Elder’s stories. His knowledge and perspective of the many strengths that our First Nations people have to offer was greatly enlightening. We were very grateful for his time.
 
Our Chair Mike Allen also said a few words about how CHPs are the best placed to serve the housing needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities—but that we have a long way to go to address the ongoing disadvantage that this group still experiences.

Joining the morning tea event to celebrate was Link Wentworth resident and TAG member Aunty Leslie, along with a number of Link Wentworth staff in-person and over Zoom.

Bridge Housing

We invited our tenants to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for the 2022 NAIDOC Week tenant art exhibition… and did they ever!

More than 15 tenants have contributed paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, jewellery, tshirts, bags and poetry. There is an amazing range of artistic style and expression on display, expertly curated by none other than the incredible Blak Douglas, this year’s winner of the prestigious Archibald Prize.

There was a huge turnout to the opening night on Wednesday 29 June, held at the 107 Projects Gallery in Redfern.

With last year’s exhibition sadly cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, it’s been a long-awaited event for many artists.

Guests were welcomed onto the land with a beautiful Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Rowena Welsh and enjoyed tasty treats while admiring the exhibition.

Sustainable Communities Manager Jamie Brewer served as MC for the evening, introducing Bridge Housing CEO Rebecca Pinkstone who spoke of the importance of celebrating our tenants, and especially our strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Curator and special guest Blak Douglas also spoke, sharing his thoughts on the exhibition and the works.

Thank you to the Communities team (especially Melissa Russell-Combo) for pulling this event together, Blak Douglas for curating the exhibition, Helen and Lisa from 107 Projects for hosting and hanging the art and to our talented tenants who contributed works to the event!

Several works were snapped up on opening night, but there are still some lovely pieces available to purchase. The exhibition is open from 11am – 5pm Wednesday to Saturday until 9 July, so Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and check it out while you can at 107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.

Mission Australia

NAIDOC Weeek on Gumbaynggirr Country, aka, Coffs Harbour kicked off with a Mid North Coast regional housing forum attended by approximately 400 people.

Co-organised with Mission Australia Housing Community Development and Coffs Harbour City Council’s Uncle Richard Widders, we had two large conference-style rooms at the show ground with 14 housing and related service providers having face to face yarns with the community.

With the venue graciously supported by CHL, we had a deadly youth dance performance from the Kulai dancers supported by Lifeline, a powerful Aboriginal housing yarning circle, delicious morning tea from Caspa, a popcorn machine from Warrina, free native plants from Bunnings, free fruit from Woolworths, face painting from New Horizons, barbecue lunch from Wesley Mission, and so much more.

Our elected representatives were present to listen to the unique housing needs of the local Aboriginal people. “This is an important event and I’m glad that I could make it,” said our NSW State Member, Gurmesh Singh.

Community Housing Limited

Community and organisation came together as part of NAIDOC week in Coffs Harbour.

The celebrations began with a formal flag raising ceremony and was followed by the Aboriginal Housing Forum.

The Forum allowed tenants and their families along with local support organisations a safe space to connect with many organisations setting up stands to display and explain the resources and assistance they can provide.

This was followed by a traditional Yarning Circle, in which Aboriginal tenants were able to openly discuss their challenges, with organisation representatives present to listen, take on feedback and provide explanation.

It was a lovely example of harmonious and collaborative interaction to achieve common outcomes.

Housing Trust

Housing Trust participated in the fantastic Shellharbour NAIDOC Week celebrations. Luckily a well anticipated wet weather plan was in place in the stunning Shellharbour Civic Centre. 

The Richard Campbell led dance troop was outstanding with multiple generations of Aboriginal performers. A warm and heartfelt welcome by Dr Jodi Edwards was a moving experience as she shared the Aboriginal history of the Shellharbour region, tying in perfectly with the 2022 NAIDOC theme “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” Jodi paid tribute to the many elders and community members before her who have driven and led change.

Uncle Richard Davis and Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer opened the event which included a free community lunch, loads of kids activities and service information.  A great event despite the weather challenges which has seen many of the Illawarra region NAIDOC events cancelled or postponed. 

Argyle Housing

Our Argyle Housing office at Campbelltown hosted a NAIDOC Week Event on Dharawal Country Monday 4th July.

Featuring special guests Jennifer Newman from CHIA NSW who gave the acknowledgment of Dharawal Country and gave a poetry reading to help us reflect on this year’s theme: ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up!’ and Aunty Kay who performed a traditional water cleansing ritual. We also had the talented Sarah and Ondra from Ojs Aboriginal Art with an aboriginal art stall at the event.

Maddison from Argyle Housing is in the picture with Jennifer Newman she is a CHIA NSW Cadet at Argyle Housing and Jennifer is her teacher who she invited to be involved. Maddi did an amazing job in organising the event getting the different services involved and inviting our clients and services to the event. She also organised kids activities, prizes and vouchers for attendees. 

City West Housing

Thank you to Melissa and Kerry Anne from the Indigenous Engagement team at The State Library of New South Wales for their presentation to City West Housing staff for NAIDOC Week!

It was great to learn about some of the treasures in the library’s historical collection reflecting the life and activities of Aboriginal people of inner Sydney before and during colonisation.

City West Housing also engaged with with the community at the Eora NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Carriageworks for NAIDOC Week.

Attending events like this is one way City West Housing can reach out to the Aboriginal community in inner Sydney to let them know about our high-quality affordable housing in the area.

Thanks to the Eora NAIDOC Community Group for putting on this fabulous event!

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

RELEASE ENDS

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.