New CPI figures reveal surge in cost of rent, showing urgent need for social and affordable housing

Media release

29 November 2023

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released today have underscored the urgent need to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, with private rental costs surging by a staggering 6.6 per cent over the past year.

“Families in NSW and right across the country are under enormous pressure from the cost-of-living crisis, and today’s figures show housing is yet again one of the most significant rising costs,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Public Affairs at Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW).  

CHIA NSW said that the alarming spike reinforces the need for immediate intervention to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, with low vacancy rates driving the increase in rents.  

“Record low vacancy rates are pushing rents to new heights. Nationally the vacancy rate is just 0.8 per cent. It’s clear there aren’t enough homes available for people to rent,” said Ms McDowell.  

“That’s why to alleviate the cost-of-living pressure on families, we need to urgently increase the supply of social and affordable housing,” Ms McDowell said.   

“Without urgent funding to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, this problem will only continue to worsen,” Ms McDowell said.  

CHIA NSW said without significant investment from the NSW State Government, the housing crisis will continue to escalate.

“Things in NSW are getting drastically worse on all fronts. We have the biggest social housing waitlist here in NSW, with 57,000 families and individuals in this so-called queue,” said Ms McDowell.

“The wait times for these families on the general wait list have increased by 40 per cent in the past 12 months, with some families for more than 10 years for a secure home,” said Ms McDowell.

“Non-for-profit community housing providers are ready to work with Government to make this happen. But we need the NSW State Government to step up and deliver the funding our state needs,” Ms McDowell said.  

Media contact: Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890