Record low rental affordability shows urgent need for investment in social and affordable housing

Media release

28 April 2023

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) is urging the State Government to build more social and affordable housing, as new data from Anglicare Australia revealed the true state of the rental affordability crisis.

The data reveals that in late March, there were 41 rental listings out of 10,500 in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra which were affordable to welfare recipients of any kind. Meanwhile, just 4% of those rental listings were affordable to someone earning the minimum wage.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said the data paints a dire picture of rental affordability in the state which will only worsen unless the State Government prioritises investing in social and affordable housing.

“People like single parents, pensioners, students, and disability support recipients are being left with two choices – fighting an unwinnable battle in the private rental market over a small handful of properties, or joining the ten year long queue for social housing,” said Mr Degotardi.

“We’ve never seen this many people who earn the minimum wage being priced out of the private rental market, meaning unaffordability is continuing to climb.

Anglicare’s report also reveals that on the North Coast of NSW, just four out of 730 rentals were affordable for welfare recipients.

“This is far from just a Sydney problem. The regions are languishing through this crisis, particularly in areas like the North Coast of NSW where the impacts of the floods compound the problem,” Mr Degotardi said.  

“There’s been chronic neglect of our social and affordable housing stock in NSW by successive state governments. It’s one of the key reasons why the rental situation in our state is so dire.

Mr Degotardi said the new State Government has the opportunity to address the escalating crisis, by investing in the social and affordable housing families in NSW need.

“Rental affordability has deteriorated in the past twelve months and is only going to get worse unless we see an urgent commitment from the state government to back community housing to help alleviate the issue.

“We are facing an escalating housing crisis and nothing will change if we don’t start confronting it right now,” said Mr Degotardi. 

Media contact: Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765