Vinnies NSW: Social Housing Announcement Doesn’t Go Far Enough

17 November 2020

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW says the NSW Government has missed the opportunity to meet the need for social housing for the 110,000 people on the waiting list in NSW with the $812 million housing announcement featured in Tuesday’s State Budget not going far enough.

Jack de Groot, the Society NSW CEO, said that whilst the $812 million investment will deliver almost 1,300 new houses, NSW needs more investment in the building sector to creates jobs and more new dwellings to meet the right to home.

There are more than 51,000 applicants – or 110,000 people – currently on the waitlist for social housing in NSW, some of whom have waited for more than 10 years.

“The NSW government has made the 20% deposit on the house and we now need the 80% to give people the housing required in NSW. Access to stable, secure and affordable housing can transform people’s lives,” said Jack de Groot, the Society NSW CEO.

“Without a home it is incredibly difficult for people to find and maintain a job, take care of their health and make plans for the future.”

“All investment in social housing is a step in the right direction towards reducing homelessness and hardship. While we are disappointed this announcement falls short of meeting the level of need in the community, we acknowledge the NSW Government’s decision to include funding in the State Budget and hope it encourages the Federal Government to make an investment in social housing so that everyone has access to a safe place to live.”

The Society NSW says that addressing the chronic shortage of social housing and reducing homelessness and housing stress across NSW will need an increase in supply of social housing by at least 5,000 homes every year for the next ten years.

The Society NSW was pleased to see a specific $212 million investment in Aboriginal housing as part of this package as well as the $80 million to support new housing sector pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, and cadetships.

Brooke Simmons, the Society NSW Vice President Social Justice, thanked Vinnies members and volunteers for their efforts in advocating for greater investment in social housing over the past year.

“Through our work supporting people in communities throughout the state, our members understand the critical need for more social and affordable housing to address the hardship many people are experiencing,” said Ms Simmons.

“Alongside other organisations in the social service sector, our members and volunteers have engaged with their communities, collected thousands of petition signatures and met with their MPs to call for more social and affordable housing.

“While we had hoped to see more in the State Budget to recognise the need for social housing, we remain optimistic that the NSW Government will make an on-going effort to ensure everyone has access to a safe and secure home.”

The Society NSW also welcomes the Social Sector Transformation Fund to support charities and not-for-profit organisations, and initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of children.

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