Regional NSW locked out of housing debate

Regional housing providers have called on the NSW government to address chronic housing stress in local communities experiencing among the highest levels of housing stress and homelessness in Australia.

NSW will need 316,766 new social and affordable dwellings by 2036 to meet current shortfall and projected demand. But while housing conversations are centred on Sydney’s soaring rents, 1 in 3 of these new dwellings is needed outside the capital.

The rental market is facing renewed scrutiny after the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot revealed yesterday that minimum wage earners and people on government support struggle to find anything affordable to rent in almost all of NSW.

In less than two decades, regional NSW will need 83,500 new social housing homes for people in the local community on very low incomes and government support such the aged pension or Newstart.

The state will need another 33,487 below market rentals properties to provide relief for local families surviving on minimum wages or low incomes.

CHIA NSW Chair, John McKenna said regional towns and country areas are being ignored in debates around housing and housing affordability.

“It’s clear when you compare population sizes that communities in regional NSW are in just as desperate need – if not more than – for social and affordable housing than they are in Sydney,” Mr McKenna said.

“A combination of lower wages and increasing rents and house price mean that people in regional NSW are doing it tougher than almost anywhere else in Australia, going without many essentials including food just to pay the rent.

“The flow on effect to local economies is huge. Too many politicians are still saying move to country areas because it’s cheaper, but the reality is very different for many people already living in these areas.

“The government has said regional infrastructure is a priority – housing is absolutely critical infrastructure that must be funded in all areas of NSW, not just in the city.”

Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

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