NSW Government spending on social housing out of step with community expectations 

22 June 2021

The NSW Government has missed an opportunity with its under investment in social housing which will impact tens of thousands of people experiencing disadvantage.

“With Victoria and Queensland’s multi-billion dollar injections of funding for construction of social housing in their budgets, NSW is now trailing behind,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“Victoria committed $5.3 billion in 2020 and Queensland $2.9 billion just this year, meanwhile NSW announced $812 million last year.

“The 2021-22 NSW Budget mostly appears to be continuing to allocate this year’s share of the previously announced social housing funding.

“Government spending is also below the expectations of NSW residents.

“According to polling commissioned by Vinnies, 84% of Labor voters and 81% of Coalition voters agree the NSW Government should increase its funding for social housing.

“Depending on where you are and your needs, you can expect to wait more than 10 years to be moved into social housing.

“To truly make a difference, the NSW Government needs to significantly increase its commitment to build more new homes every year.

“Since 2016, our analysis shows the State Government has committed to build only 9,386 additional social housing residences.

“This means, even if it continues at its current pace, it’s building at about a third of the rate it needs to be to make a serious dent in the waiting list,” Mr de Groot said.

“The St Vincent de Paul Members in our local communities have been pushing for lots more funds for social and affordable housing,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW President, Peter McNamara, said.

“Our members appreciate what has been offered but so much is needed.

“Daily, our members deal with people and families without housing and the devastating impact this has on them and their extended network.

“The Government has just scored a $1 billion windfall gain in transfer stamp duty and residential property prices are expected to be materially higher over the next four years, giving yet another kicker to transfer stamp duty.

"Our members will be asking: surely we could do much better with our investment in social and affordable housing.

"With soaring property prices locking lower income earners out of home ownership and rental in Sydney metro, up and down the coast and in many regional areas, our members will have to help even more people needing support with housing, food, and energy bills.” 

“However, it’s good to see $57 million in funding for a continuation of the Together Home program.

“This program has successfully found long-term homes for a quarter of people experiencing rough sleeping who were provided with short-term accommodation during the worst of the pandemic.

“The broad-reaching COVID response has worked well and has been providing help for some very vulnerable groups.

“The Together Home program has also been a fantastic demonstration that when there is the political will, homes can be found for people experiencing homelessness.

“It’s also pleasing to see $46 million in new funding for Stolen Generation survivor reparations.

“Government investments in supporting people experiencing domestic violence are also very welcome.

“In particular, $60 million for frontline domestic violence services and additional funding to speed up access to courts and legal assistance.

“It’s great that $4.9 million is going to be used to create two Vinnies domestic violence refuges for women in Sydney.

“There is also more than $36 million that will go towards assertive outreach mental health programs in rural and regional NSW and this is something Society members will be very happy with,” Mr McNamara said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0417 446 430