$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