Housing affordability crisis set to worsen – unless more investment is made in social and affordable housing

Media release

3rd May 2024

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) said today’s inaugural State of the Housing System report paints a bleak outlook for vulnerable people on the social housing waitlist and people experiencing homelessness.

The State of the Housing System 2024 report notes that the forecast levels for the delivery of social and affordable housing are significantly lower than demand, at a time when waitlists for public housing increased by 9.1 per cent in the four years to 2023.

“We are now presented with substantial evidence that the housing crisis is going to get worse before it gets better. For the most vulnerable people in our community, who are already struggling with the skyrocketing cost of housing, the crisis will have long-term consequences for their wellbeing, financial security, and social and economic inclusion,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

“The upcoming Federal and NSW State Budgets must respond to the crisis by committing significant, long-term investment in social and affordable housing. As a starting point, we urge the Federal Government to double the funding for the Housing Australia Future Fund to $20 billion and invest in the homes that our communities so desperately need.

“The NSW Government must also bring its own funding and resources to the table. An investment of just over $2 billion per year for the next five years will deliver up to 25,000 social and affordable rental homes in the state experiencing the nation’s most acute housing crisis.”

The report identifies ten focus areas to improve housing system outcomes. Sufficient investment in social and affordable housing is at the top of this list, in recognition of its vital role as “essential infrastructure for sustainable, productive and cohesive communities.”

“Addressing the housing crisis requires a crisis response. Although there is an important role for sensible and incremental housing reforms, governments cannot, and should not, ignore their fundamental responsibility to invest in the social and affordable housing that is needed right now,” said Mr Degotardi.     

“The good news for governments is that they don’t need to solve the housing crisis alone, but they do need to set the direction for change. Establishing a national target for social and affordable housing is recognised as a way to foster a pipeline of new supply.

“The not-for-profit community housing industry is ready to work with all levels of government to deliver these housing solutions. Community housing providers have projects that are ready to roll but need the funding to get them started.

“We have nearly 58,000 households on the social housing wait list in NSW alone – so what are we waiting for?”, Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765 or Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890