Vinnies NSW welcomes Federal Labor’s $10 billion commitment to social housing

13 May 2021

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is hoping the Commonwealth and State Governments will follow Federal Labor’s pledge to invest in social housing.

“A $10 billion investment in social and affordable housing is a great down payment on providing homes for the more than 100,000 people in NSW who lack one.

“And it should be viewed as a call to arms by State and Territory Governments to co-operate and ensure the social housing waiting list is drastically reduced.

“Every day Vinnies helps Australians in need, many of whom do not have a home.

“This is the kind of approach we need to see from all levels of government to ensure that they do,” St Vincent de Paul NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“There are more than 50,000 applicants on the social housing waiting list, representing more than 100,000 people, in NSW alone.

“They can wait upwards of 10 years before they are found a home.

“Federal Labor’s pledge to build 20,000 houses nationally in five years, with an emphasis on providing homes to women experiencing domestic violence, is a good start.

“The NSW Government has made some investment in new housing stock but by our best estimates they will deliver only 10,000 new homes over a time period of up to 20 years.

“Vinnies has been calling for, as part of its Build Homes Build Hope campaign, the construction of 50,000 new social housing dwellings over a decade.

“We need this kind of investment to make a serious dent in the waiting list.

“It’s important to note that, as generous as the Federal Labor pledge is, it may not be enough on its own to provide 50,000 social housing homes over 10 years in total, let alone in NSW.

“It’s for this reason we are calling on both the State and Federal Governments to cooperate and invest in social housing,” Mr de Groot said.

“Having a home is a basic need.

“The Society does what it can to provide accommodation to people who need it,” St Vincent de Paul NSW President, Peter McNamara, said.

“The fact is: we need homes for more than 100,000 people in NSW alone.

“More government investment would be welcome.

“People in social housing or on the waiting list often turn to the Society for help.

“We provide them with food, clothes, support with bills, referrals to specialist services, and more.

“Poverty is a trap that can ensnare anyone – people can wind up in its grip for reasons including debilitating injury, serious illness, domestic violence, or even just losing a job.

“Social housing is a safety net and the one we have is letting too many people slip through the holes.

“The Society’s calling is poverty alleviation – we care for the people our safety nets miss.

“Our Members’ mission is to live the message of Jesus by serving Christ in our communities with love, respect, justice, hope, and joy.

“Our volunteers do this and they do it very well, but what we want is a world where no-one is denied their most basic needs and for that we urgently need more social housing in NSW,” Mr McNamara said.

Media contact:  Lachlan Jones 0417 446 430