State Government must invest in social and affordable housing after data shows rental prices outpacing wage growth five times over in Sydney

Media release

24 August 2023

The NSW Government must urgently invest in more social and affordable housing, as new data from Domain shows rental prices for units rose more than seven times as fast as wages across Australia’s capital cities over the past 12 months.

The Domain data showed the asking rents for apartments in Sydney rose 27.6 per cent over the year to June, eclipsing wages which only grew at 3.6 per cent. Over the same period, rents for houses grew by almost 13 per cent.

The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) CEO, Mark Degotardi said rising rents coupled with a lack of supply is putting an enormous strain on renters.

“Stagnant wages and the soaring cost of living are compounding a housing crisis which has been decades in the making,” said CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi.

“The disparity between rent increases and wage growth is being felt hardest by low-income workers like cleaners, aged care nurses, and retail workers who help keep our society running. The private rental market is failing these Australians who desperately need social and affordable housing options,” said Mr Degotardi.

“A thriving housing system is one where secure and affordable options are available to all, regardless of the pay they take home. That is not possible without an adequate supply of social and affordable housing in that system.

“Right now, thousands of families cannot afford a private rental but when they turn to social housing, they’re met with a queue of 56,000 other families just like them.

CHIA NSW is calling on the State Government ahead of the NSW State Budget to invest in a four-year, $6 billion Social and Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which leverages co-funding from the Federal Government, State Government and community housing providers, to deliver a sustainable pipeline of social and affordable housing projects across NSW.

“With a sustainable and targeted pipeline of new social and affordable housing, we ensure that everyone in NSW – regardless of their salary – has a roof over their head,” said Mr Degotardi.

“The best way for the NSW Government to get bang for its buck is by supporting not-for-profit community housing providers to deliver quality social and affordable housing. Those homes will be safe, secure and affordable places to live in NSW communities for generations to come,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Tanya Evans, 0424156146