27 April 2020
New figures showing a surge in demand for homelessness services and housing highlight the urgent investment social and affordable rental housing in NSW, the state’s peak not for profit housing body said today.
CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said today’s NCOSS report shows housing costs were impacting young people, workers and families with children before COVID-19, with exponential increases in calls to tenants and homelessness information hotlines suggesting a huge increase in renters in distress as a result of the virus.
Mr Degotardi said demand would increase even further as more people are expected to experience homelessness and housing uncertainty in the next months and years while the economy recovers.
“There’s a shortfall of more than 200,000 social and affordable homes in NSW right now, and almost 60,000 households waiting for social housing,” said Mr Degotardi.
“Our members are already experiencing an increase in demand from renters who can no longer pay the rent because their financial situation has changed.
“The economic downturn expected as a result of COVID-19 will increase that need dramatically again, well beyond the immediate crisis.”
CHIA NSW joined NCOSS in calling on the NSW Government to establish a Social and Affordable Housing Capital Fund that could fund an extra 5,000 social housing properties a year for the next 10 years, as well as additional affordable rental housing.
CHIA NSW also urges the government to identify more government-owned land and properties that could be converted to social housing to respond to growing demand for permanent housing for thousands of people in NSW who are now in temporary shelter.
“Today’s NCOSS report is a stark illustration that NSW cannot continue a business as usual approach to housing,” Mr Degotardi said.
“Expecting the market to provide homes people could afford was not working before COVID-19 and it will be even more ineffective in the months to come.
“The NSW Government must invest in social housing, and affordable rental housing and implement planning reforms. This will create construction jobs and economic growth, provide safe, affordable homes for renters and build resilience in our communities as we recover from this crisis.”
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