NSW Government must urgently invest in new social and affordable housing in September 19 State Budget
Not-for-profit community housing provider Home in Place is echoing calls by the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) and other groups to urgently invest in more social and affordable housing and support for those tenants with complex needs in its upcoming Budget on September 19.
Business and public affairs manager Martin Kennedy said government funding for social and affordable housing should be seen as an investment in vital infrastructure rather than a budget cost. Mr Kennedy said the establishment of the Housing Australia Future Fund at the federal level and the NSW Government’s announcement over the weekend of a new $224 million Essential Housing Package to support social housing and homelessness services are steps in the right direction but need to be the start of something bigger.
“The Housing Australia Future Fund and the NSW Government’s pre budget announcement will not go anywhere near addressing the shortfall in social and affordable housing, especially with continued high levels of immigration,” Mr Kennedy said.
Home in Place backs CHIA NSW’s call for a four-year, $6 billion NSW Social and Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, co-funded by the NSW and Federal governments and community housing providers.
“Aside from housing being a fundamental human right, without a safe and secure roof over your head, you can’t be productive, effectively care for children and others or contribute to your community.”
“Rents and house prices are continually rising across NSW, including the Hunter region. Other rising cost of living pressures and no growth in real wages are exacerbating the crisis, especially for working people on low wages and the unemployed.”
“More people are experiencing housing stress which occurs when people’s housing (rent or mortgage) is more than 30 per cent of their income. Paying $600 per week without being in housing stress requires an income of $2,000 per week, or $104,000 per year; much more than the average wage.”
Business and Public Affairs Manager Martin Kennedy
“The anxiety and stress caused by a lack of housing security has devastating consequences on almost every indicator of human wellbeing. Investing in housing is a smart Budget move.”
“But housing is not just unaffordable, it is unavailable. This means we have working people who are sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness.”
Mr Kennedy said more renters are being forced into social and affordable housing for which there is not enough supply and long waiting lists. There are already more than 56,000 households on the NSW social housing waiting list.
He said community housing providers such as Home in Place are ready to work with government to get more housing built as they have successfully done in the past.
“A crisis of this magnitude needs everyone working together to get housing built as quickly as possible.”
Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437 477 493. Mr Kennedy is available for interview pre and post Budget.