NSW Housing Strategy needs to seize once-in-a-generation investment opportunity

NSW’s peak community housing body, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), today welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Housing Strategy Discussion Paper, while noting more action is needed to not miss a once-in-a-generation chance to reshape NSW’s housing infrastructure.

‘The release of the discussion paper is a good first step in addressing NSW’s housing priorities. It follows important and welcome changes by the NSW Government in planning policy and social housing lease arrangements which will aid the State’s economic recovery,’ said CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi.

‘We are looking forward to making a contribution to this Strategy and working with the NSW Government to ensure community housing is recognised as an important part of the State’s housing mix’, said Mr Degotardi.

The Strategy Discussion Paper clearly states that social housing supply was not keeping pace with rising demand. CHIA NSW stated that with forecasts revealing that over 43,000 homes will now not be built nationally over the next 12 months alone[1], there was an urgent need for the State government to invest in new social housing.

‘It’s clear that private investment in housing is falling away fast. Now is the ideal time for government stimulus that can fund the housing sector where private investment has dropped away,’ said Mr Degotardi.

‘A broad strategic discussion on how to set the future priorities for housing in NSW is critically important.  But the short term economic, employment and housing stress issues exacerbated by the pandemic need immediate attention.

“We need the Government to move quickly to fund social housing as part of its economic stimulus plans. Every dollar invested in social housing will generate $1.30 through new economic activity and job creation[2].  Social housing infrastructure is one of the best investments our State can make,’ said Mr Degotardi.

“Now is the time for social housing stimulus. The Federal Government missed the opportunity but direct financial assistance from the NSW Government can kick start a construction jobs boom in NSW and house more NSW families who are struggling with the financial impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Degotardi said.

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[1] Master Builders Association, https://www.masterbuilders.com.au/Newsroom/Housing-Sector-Devastated-By-COVID-19-Impact

[2] KPMG, ‘Social Housing Initiative Review’ (2012), http://www.nwhn.net.au/admin/file/content101/c6/social_housing_initiative_review.pdf