Urgent action needed as new figures show soaring priority list for social housing in NSW

Media release

11 August 2023

Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) has called for urgent investment in social and affordable housing to address the growing housing crisis, as new data released today shows the waitlist for priority social housing has doubled in less than a decade.

The figures reveal the demand for priority housing in NSW increased by 1,000 to 7,573 in the past twelve months, forcing the state’s most vulnerable to survive in precarious living situations while they wait.

“The explosion in the numbers of households on the priority housing waitlist is a human catastrophe with NSW’s most vulnerable families in immediate crisis.

“We need urgent investment in social and affordable housing included in the upcoming State Budget as well as a plan for the future,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The scale of this crisis means that all levels of Government must develop an urgent and coordinated response.

“The Federal Government’s recent investment of $2 billion in social housing across Australia is welcome, but it is not enough.

“The ongoing delays in passing the Housing Australia Future Fund are not acceptable. Communities and households in crisis are not interested in political games, they need action and they need it now,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The NSW Government must also do more – planning reforms are welcomed but direct investment in social and affordable housing at scale is what is desperately needed.”

The NSW Government’s decision to release the social housing waitlist numbers more frequently is welcomed by CHIA NSW who has called for better transparency on the figures for some time.

“Congratulations to the NSW Government for its transparency about the scale of the problem. But we also need transparency about how much social housing is being planned and built and a commitment from the NSW Government to sensible long term targets for new social and affordable housing.

“The community also needs an explanation of why the general social housing waitlist has declined by almost 5,000 applicants in six months when the data suggests that the number of applicants placed into properties is about half that number. If eligible households haven’t got a home but have disappeared off the waitlist, where are they?”

Media Contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765