Community Housing: By Community, For Community
State Budget 2023 Four Point Plan
New South Wales is facing an unprecedented housing crisis that demands urgent action. There are 56,000 households on the social housing waitlist, some of whom will wait 10 or more years to be housed. Private rents have hit record highs, with vacancy rates remaining low across Greater Sydney and NSW.
Community housing offers critical, innovative solutions to address the housing crisis. Not-for-profit community housing providers own or manage more than 54,000 homes for people living on very low to moderate incomes in NSW. Since 2012,they have built 5,600 new homes across NSW in communities where they are needed most.
In anticipation of the State Budget, CHIA NSW developed a four-point plan that highlighted how the NSW Government can invest in a better housing future and ensure that everyone has a safe, secure and affordable place to all home.
We have a four-point plan for how we believe our State Government should confront this crisis.
Priority 1: Establish a long-term pipeline for social and affordable housing supply
Create new housing supply by investing in a four-year, $6 billion Social and Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which leverages Federal Government funding and community housing industry investment, to deliver a sustainable pipeline of social and affordable housing projects across NSW.
To maximise the NSW Government’s investment and ensure that housing is retained for people in greatest need, this should be jointly delivered in partnership with registered, not-for-profit community housing providers and Aboriginal community housing providers.
Priority 2: Extend the Together Home Program and break the cycle of homelessness
Commit to a ‘Housing First’ policy across NSW and extend the Together Home Program for $50 million over an additional two years, to align with the transition to five-year funding contracts for homelessness services.
To ensure the program breaks the cycle of homelessness, the NSW Government should commit to building an additional 400social housing properties over two years for people exiting from Together Home who are assessed as requiring longer-term housing and support services.
Priority 3: A cleaner, greener future for social housing
Establish a two-year, $60 million Social Housing Net Zero Program for energy efficiency upgrades and electrification of ageing social housing properties, to leverage funding from the Federal Government’s Household Energy Upgrade Fund.
To maximise the program’s benefits, the NSW Government should establish two grant funding streams for eligible community housing and Aboriginal community housing providers:
- Up to $10,000 per property for upgrades, including (but not limited to): insulation, draught sealing, appliance upgrades and solar panels.
- Up to $75,000 per organisation for net zero planning to drive decarbonisation activity across the social housing system.
Priority 4: Streamlining planning pathways for social and affordable housing
Invest $5 million over four years to establish an Affordable Housing Delivery Unit in the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment, focusing on prioritising the assessment of proposals for social and affordable housing which do not meet the threshold for state significant development.
It is proposed that development applications involving more than 50% social and affordable housing would be forwarded to the unit for processing, including coordination of referrals and preparation of assessment reports. Decisions would remain with the relevant consent authority.