The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW calls for urgent action on social and affordable housing

20 April 2022

Access to safe, secure, and affordable housing for everyone must be a priority beyond the current election, according to the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.

Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, stressed the need for urgent action to reform Australia’s housing system, underpinned by the establishment of a $10 billion national Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

“Without a substantive investment in social and affordable housing more and more people will be left out in the cold by the fractured housing market,” Mr de Groot said.

“Housing in Australia has been distorted, over the years, from serving as an essential need to being treated as a commodity for a select few to profit from.

“How do you expect people to hold down a job, take care of their health, or plan beyond one day at a time without a secure place to live?

“Ensuring everyone has a safe place to call home should not be up for debate – I hope that the elected government treats this issue with the seriousness it warrants,” Mr de Groot said.

The Society has called for a number of actions as part of its election statement concerning affordable housing, including:

  • An independent statutory authority to develop a 10-year National Housing Strategy with all governments and key stakeholders, underpinned by a $10 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund.
  • Review of Commonwealth Rent Assistance and increase to the maximum rate by 50 per cent.
  • Funding to implement the National Low Income Energy Productivity Program.
  • Reinstatement of the National Rental Affordability Scheme or a suitable replacement scheme.
  • National minimum standards for renters and landlords to manage tenancy issues

Paul Burton, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State President, noted the success of the Society’s participation in the State Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).

The SAHF has allowed the Society to develop 502 social and affordable housing units over the past five years.

“The Social and Affordable Housing Fund in NSW has changed hundreds of lives by providing people with the stability of a place to live.

“Wrap-around support is also provided by the Society and tailored to help tenants achieve their goals.

“The SAHF model is one of the various ways governments and community organisations can work together to bring about real change for people who desperately need it,” said Mr Burton.

For more information on the Society’s vision for a fairer Australia, please go to our website.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones  |  0417 446 430