$183m social housing boost a positive step to reduce waitlists

16 October 2021– The Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW has welcomed a $183 million social housing funding boost from the NSW Government, saying steady funding for new homes is the only way to reduce the state’s staggering social housing queue of 50,000 families.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news for thousands of families across the state waiting up to 10 years for a safe home,” says Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“In previous years a string of state governments failed to invest in building new social housing, and that’s left our state in a dire situation today.

“Our state will need 5,000 new homes every year for the next decade if we are to keep pace with soaring demand.

“It’s great to see this government stepping up to tackle the escalating housing crisis.”

Today’s $183 million funding injection will go towards accelerating the supply of planned new social housing across NSW, providing new funding for community housing providers through the provision of an additional $50m through the Community Housing Innovation Fund and providing an additional $20m for the construction and upgrade of social and affordable homes in partnership with Aboriginal community housing providers.

“Right now there are 50,000 families waiting for social housing, who through no fault of their own simply cannot find a home they can afford. On average, they’ll spend five to ten years on the waitlist,” says Mr Degotardi.

“Many of these families are victims of domestic violence, older people below retirement age locked out of the job market, or essential workers whose wages are too low to afford private rental prices.

“This isn’t just a Sydney problem. In the regions, rents have skyrocketed, locking many low-income households out of the private market.

“Today’s announcement from the Government highlights the valuable role of community housing providers in partnering with Government to deliver more social and affordable housing. The $70m extension of the Community Housing Innovation Fund and the Aboriginal Community Housing Innovation Fund will allow our sector to deliver more than 300 new homes – projects that are ready to go right now. It is a clear recognition that investment through community housing providers delivers better outcomes for communities and better value for money for Government.

“It’s heartening to see the NSW Government taking this problem seriously, and the non-profit community housing sector stands ready to help.

“Of course more needs to be done, but today is a great start and a welcome new commitment from the NSW Government.

“I look forward to with this government on creating a sustainable housing future for our state. It’s clear we can no longer turn a blind eye. We have too many families depending on it.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965