A record crowd packed the Visitors’ Gallery on 3 August when a mandatory affordable housing target of 15 per cent was discussed in the NSW State Parliament. This was the culmination of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW’s petition which attracted 16,300 signatures.

It was extremely disappointing that the Government showed little appetite for the initiative, said Jack de Groot, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.

“The Society received endorsement from independents and minor parties, and in May the NSW Labor Party announced their inclusionary zoning policy,” he said.

“In fact, Luke Foley, Leader of the Opposition, acknowledged that it was the Society leadership that convinced him to adopt their policy. Jenny Leong, Greens Member for Newtown, also applauded the Society.”

The housing crisis many face in NSW comes with significant financial and social costs. According to Mr de Groot, these need to be addressed through policy changes, and that inclusionary zoning is the ideal way to accomplish this.

“Without it, we will see more and more people without secure housing and ultimately homeless.

“The people sleeping rough in Martin Place was a stark reminder of the crisis but they represent a tiny proportion of our population experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. We must focus on long-term sustainable solutions to increase our affordable housing stock,” said Mr de Groot.