The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW welcomes independent flood inquiry report’s focus on social housing

18 August 2022

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has welcomed the recommendations on social housing made by the independent inquiry into recent flooding in the state.

“It’s particularly good news that the inquiry is recognising the need for and recommending more housing, particularly social housing, be built,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“I am glad that the Premier says his government will accept the recommendations made by the independent report.

“The floods rendered more homes uninhabitable than the Black Summer bushfires and directly impacted on people already experiencing homelessness or living in insecure housing.

“They also compounded an already existing housing crisis – leaving more people in need of housing and, potentially, lengthening the amount of time spent waiting for social housing.

“Thousands more people were made homeless by the floods when there were already many people in the Northern Rivers on the social housing wait list or experiencing homelessness.

“In NSW, there is a waiting list for social housing 50,000 applicants long and this represents more than 100,000 individual people,” Mr de Groot said.

“St Vincent de Paul Society members were some of the first on the ground, helping people worst-affected by the Northern Rivers floods,” St Vincent de Paul NSW State Council President, Paul Burton, said.

“Our response is ongoing and we are providing people with food, clothing, and other everyday essentials.

“The recommendation to boost social housing supply made by the report, if followed, will help build communities that are more resilient to disaster.

“Housing is scarce and expensive and cost is a significant factor in what has driven people to living in homes that are at high risk of damage from floods.

“And when you start from a position of more people having homes, a disaster like the floods should not end up compounding a pre-existing crisis,” Mr Burton said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones  |  0417 446 430