Record-low rental vacancy rates highlight desperate need for social housing investment from NSW Government

Media release

5 September 2022

The peak body for community housing in NSW, Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), says that data showing record-low rental vacancy rates shows the desperate need for urgent investment in social housing from the NSW Government.

“Families in NSW are facing a housing vulnerability crisis, and the vacancy data released today shows that it’s escalating,” said Mark Degotardi, CEO of CHIA NSW.

The data released today by Domain show that vacancy rates for rental homes in Sydney have halved in a year to a record-low of 1.2 per cent, while in regional Australia it fell to just 0.6 per cent.

CHIA NSW says that rents in NSW have also risen over 10% in the past year to June 2022, according to published data from the Department of Communities and Justice.

“There aren’t enough homes available to rent, rental prices are sky-rocketing and the demand for social housing is far beyond what is available,” said Mr Degotardi.

“There are 50,000 families on the social housing waitlist in NSW. These are everyday families, and in many cases they’re waiting up to ten years or more for a secure, affordable home,” Mr Degotardi said.

Mr Degotardi said that urgent investment in social housing was critical for addressing the growing crisis.

“Decades of severe under-investment in social and affordable housing by successive governments is one of the key causes of this housing vulnerability crisis,” said Mr Degotardi.

“With rising interest rates and rising cost of living pressures, the pressure on vulnerable renters will only get worse,” he said.

“The NSW Government cannot be a bystander to this crisis. It needs to step up and take responsibility for ensuring NSW families have a place to call home,” said Mr Degotardi. 

Media Contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029