Budget fails 50,000 families in social housing queue

22 June 2021– The NSW Government has missed a critical opportunity to invest in new social and affordable housing, with no additional support for the more than 50,000 households across NSW already on the waitlist for social housing, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW said today.

“Safe, secure and affordable housing is a basic human right. Having 50,000 households on the social waiting list in NSW and no plan to address the problem is simply unacceptable,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“This comes at a time when the NSW Government received $9.37 billion from stamp duty revenue, when in November’s budget it forecast $7.9 billion. This windfall could have been directed to building more social and affordable housing, so that the benefit of a booming housing market could be shared with low-income families struggling to put a roof over their head and food on the table,” said Mr Degotardi.

CHIA NSW welcomed the additional $57 million funding for the Together Home program to support an additional 250 rough sleepers and build 100 new homes, but warned that the investment fails to address the state’s growing housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

“Providing responses to homelessness is important, but a critical determinant of homelessness is the availability of affordable housing for people on low incomes,” said Mr Degotardi.

“According to new Equity Economics modelling released by CHIA NSW this week, NSW has a shortage of at least 70,000 social housing dwellings. There is simply no strategy for addressing this critical shortfall.

“Social housing is important infrastructure that can generate jobs and economic activity. By building 5,000 new social housing dwellings each year, NSW could create 16,200 jobs, generate $5.2 billion in extra economic activity, and prevent 750 people from becoming homeless every year.”

The community housing sector has already delivered more than 4,400 new homes since 2012, creating thousands of new jobs and generating over $1.6 billion of economic activity.

“Community housing providers across NSW have shovel ready projects that can deliver thousands of new affordable rental homes across the state, provided they can secure capital funding or land from government,” said Mr Degotardi.

“States around Australia have begun to respond to the housing crisis. NSW has the biggest waiting list of all, and we have nothing to offer those families who are still waiting for a secure and affordable place to live.”

“The government must decide how long it will keep them waiting.”

Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029