New social housing in NSW

New social housing would support 13,500 jobs a year in NSW

Significant government investment in social housing in NSW would support 13,500 new jobs a year in NSW, particularly in areas worst impacted by job losses as a result of COVID-19 new analysis by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA NSW) ahead of the NSW Budget shows.

CHIA NSW is calling for a NSW Government capital fund to address the state’s chronic social housing shortage by building 5,000 new dwellings every year for a decade.

Based on modelling by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC)[1] an annual $1.5 billion investment would support 13,500 jobs across the state, creating employment and alleviating housing stress in some of areas that will be worst hit by economic downturn.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi says financing new social housing would be ideally targeted stimulus to spur economic recovery, supporting jobs in the Sydney suburbs and regional areas projected to suffer the highest unemployment.

“The NSW Government’s priorities in this budget must be supporting the people in greatest need and spending to support our economy recovery. Social housing is a solution that achieves both those ends,” says Mr Degotardi.

“Community housing providers have already invested $1.2 billion and supported more than 8,000 jobs in NSW since 2012. They’re ready to do so much more.”

A report by Equity Economics this month projects a 24% rise in homelessness in NSW by July 2021, with Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Parramatta, Blacktown and Sydney’s City and Inner South to experience the highest unemployment. Another 88,000 households are also predicted to enter housing stress due to loss of income.

“We cannot wait until people are forced out of their homes and onto the streets before action is taken. Everyone agrees we need stimulus, and a chorus of experts are pointing to social housing as the most effective option.

“Housing infrastructure is an incredibly jobs-intensive investment. By building housing in these regions, the government can both spur local employment and help families and other renters struggling to pay rent on reduced incomes,” says Mr Degotardi.

“The social housing waitlist was 50,000 households long before the pandemic hit. We are now in a recession and the worst is yet to come.

“The government must act right now to invest in these regions and stem the tidal wave of homelessness and housing stress that is fast approaching our state.

“The NSW Government cannot continue to ignore the crisis that has been on our doorstep for decades. Tens of thousands of families are depending on the Government to take urgent action.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[1] See analysis in NHFIC’s ‘Building Jobs’ report which demonstrates that $1m in residential construction output supports nine jobs in the economy: https://www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/building-jobs-how-residential-construction-drives-the-economy/