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