Vinnies NSW Reports and Submissions

Submission to the Inquiry into Homelessness amongst older people aged over 55 in New South Wales

10 June 2022

This submission has been developed in consultation with over forty caseworkers who work in our services, as well as nurses, team leaders and managers across more than 10 St Vincent de Paul Society NSW services. During these consultations, our employees outlined the challenges faced by people over the age of 55 who have specific needs and added vulnerabilities due to their age, employability, financial circumstances, and experiences of social isolation.


Social Housing in New South Wales Report 2: Future Impact

9 May 2022

This University of NSW Centre for Social Impact report, commissioned by the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, shows that investment in 5,000 new social housing homes per year over the next ten years would reduce the social housing waiting list from 51,351 in 2021 to 13,724 by 2031. The report also finds that the current level of social housing investment is not enough to provide housing for the number of applicants on the NSW Housing Register. It estimates that by 2040, the NSW Housing Register would have decreased by an average of approximately 371 applicants per year over 20 years. The number of applicants on the social housing waiting list will not decrease below 45,000 until 2039.


Response to the ‘Shaping your new disability employment support program’ consultation paper

11 February 2022

Over the last decade, the gap between the unemployment rate of people with and without disability has widened. As a nation, it is clear we are failing to uphold the right all people have to earn an income in work freely chosen. In response to the Federal Government’s review of the Disability Employment Support program, our submission focuses on the experience of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, and the opportunity for disability employment services and disability enterprises to work more effectively together to provide participants with pathways to less segregated employment opportunities, including open employment.

Blueprint Model of Care to Support Vaccine Hubs for People Experiencing Homelessness

10 October 2021

The Inner City VOCID-19 Vaccine hub at the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Ozanam Learning Centre has facilitated access to COVID-19 vaccines for thousands of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This Blueprint Model of Care has been developed to offer guidance to other agencies in the development and delivery of vaccination hubs for vulnerable groups.


Police Responses to Domestic and Family Violence

28 September 2021

Overall, the experience of employees working in our domestic violence services is that while there have been significant improvements to the ways in which NSW Police respond to domestic and family violence and support victim-survivors, there are still several challenges and areas for improvement.


Submission to the NSW Regional Housing Taskforce

26 August 27

In June 2021 the NSW Government established a Regional Housing Taskforce in response to increasing pressures on the supply and affordability of housing in Regional NSW. In our submission to the Taskforce, the Society draws attention to the shortage of social housing in regional communities across NSW and once again calls on Government to invest in significantly more social housing.


Options to address the social housing shortage

17 August 2021

In this submission to the NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Community Services, the Society argues that NSW must reduce and respond to homelessness and housing stress by committing to invest in significantly more social housing. We also recommend that the NSW Government complement this investment in social housing by introducing targets for the delivery of new affordable housing and by boosting funding for our Specialist Homelessness Services. In certain circumstances and with appropriate protections for tenants, NSW may also consider delivering meanwhile use housing.


Social housing in New South Wales – Report 1: Contemporary analysis

18 June 2021

In advance of the June 2021 NSW Budget, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW commissioned the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW to examine the NSW Government’s commitments to develop additional social housing.

The report demonstrates that, though there are more than 51,000 applicants for social housing at present, NSW Government commitments between 2016 and 2026 amount to just 9,386 additional dwellings. It also finds that expenditure on social housing per capita in NSW declined between 2017-18 and 2019-20 and that social housing as a proportion of the total housing stock has declined from 5% in 2012 to 4.7% in 2020.


Submission to the Interim Voice Report to the Australian Government

10 April 2021

In support of a First Nations Voice to Parliament, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has responded to the Interim Voice Report to the Australian Government. Our submission supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s call for a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.

The Constitution is an important cultural document that should reflect the identity, values, cultures and aspirations of the Australian people, a growing majority of whom describe the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia as very important for our nation. Constitutional enshrinement of a Voice to Parliament would also offer a level of stability and certainty that cannot be guaranteed through legislation alone.


Filling the Gap: The relationship between the rate of unemployment and charity assistance for JobSeekers

17 March 2021

Using data collected by members of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, this report shows that the introduction of the coronavirus supplement corresponded with a 75% drop in the number of people needing help. Calls for assistance have increased as the supplement has been cut. The report makes a case for income support payments that enable people to cover the basics, rather than forcing them to rely on charity as a matter of course. 


Submission to the Inquiry into Criminalising Coercive Control

2 February 2021

The St Vincent de Paul Society believes our legal system’s capacity to respond to the nature of abuse that occurs within intimate and family relationships should be strengthened, including via the introduction of a new criminal offence for coercive control. To ensure any legislative reform results in tangible change for victim-survivors, we make a number of recommendations to support the practical implementation of any new law, and identify where additional investment is needed in order to improve outcomes.


St Vincent de Paul Society Pre-Budget Submission

12 February 2021

The Society contends that everyone has the right to home. Unfortunately, right now, tens of thousands of people across NSW are experiencing homelessness or housing stress. The NSW Government has a pivotal role in shaping communities in which everyone can afford a place to live. Specifically, decisions about how the budget is allocated are critical to ensuring eligible households are able to access social housing. But there is not enough social housing across NSW. This year, our pre-Budget submission calls for the NSW Government to invest in significantly more of this critical social and economic infrastructure.


Contribution from St Vincent de Paul Society to the Homelessness Audit

2 February 2021

The NSW Government plays a critical role in ensuring that all people—especially those experiencing poverty and disadvantage—have access to housing that affords them physical safety, protection from the elements, and security of tenure, at a cost that does not compromise access to other essentials like food and energy. To inform our contribution, we have spoken with frontline workers in our homelessness services across NSW. We hope that our input serves to support the NSW Government to reduce homelessness across our state.


Submission to the Select Committee on the High Level of First Nations People in Custody

17 September 2020

The St Vincent de Paul Society is deeply concerned about the unacceptably high level of First Nations people in custody. As the Uluru Statement from The Heart declares, First Nations people “are not an innately criminal people”. Rather, the disproportionate representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system is a legacy of colonisation. It is reflective of intergenerational trauma, dispossession, and systemic racism.


Submission to the Housing Strategy for NSW Discussion Paper

23 July 2020

The NSW Government plays a critical role in ensuring that all people – especially those experiencing poverty and disadvantage – have access to housing that affords them physical safety, protection from the elements, and security of tenure, at a cost that does not compromise access to other essentials like food and energy. Our feedback on the Discussion Paper aims to promote the availability and affordability of housing for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage over the next 20 years.


Submission to the Inquiry into Support for Drought-Affected Communities in NSW

6 December 2019

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has been actively involved in responding to the drought in NSW, independently raising over $2 million in assistance, contributing close to $3 million from the Society’s own reserves and distributing government relief programs including the Drought Community Support Initiative and the Energy Account Payment Assistance Scheme. In addition to measures that would stimulate regional and rural economies, we outline ways in which the NSW Government could better assist households struggling to pay energy bills and council rates.


Submission to the NSW Review of Federal Financial Relations

21 November 2019

Our submission to the NSW Review of Federal Financial Relations recognises the role the tax system plays in the distribution of wealth, and in raising revenue to support community needs. It focuses on how two tax streams within the State Government’s remit can be amended to work more effectively for people on low incomes.


Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies


As councils across Greater Metropolitan Sydney develop Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies, employees and members of the St Vincent de Paul Society have responded by urging Councils to adopt meaningful affordable housing targets, and to advocate for investment in social housing.


Response to Digital Metering Public Consultation Paper

11 September 2019

The St Vincent de Paul Society’s response to the Digital Metering Public Consultation Paper cautions against allowing the moratorium on remote disconnections to expire in June 2020. This change would likely increase disconnection rates which has a negative emotional, physical and mental impact. Consumer protections are not yet adequate to the task of ensuring people are offered appropriate supports prior to being disconnected.


Feedback on the proposed Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019

26 July 2019

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW daily witnesses the impact of poor-quality housing on people’s lives. Our response to the proposed Residential Tenancies Regulation supports the general principle that social housing tenants should have access to the same rights and protections as tenants in the private market. We also identify opportunities to amend the draft regulations to help make rental properties more energy efficient.


The Way Home: Vinnies NSW 2019 Election Statement

March 2019

Our 2019 Election Statement outlines key steps our State Government could take, within its next term, to begin breaking down the barriers that prevent some people in our community from living well. NSW is the richest State in Australia. Our budget is in surplus and we have very little debt. It is simply a matter of priorities.


Response to the Central Coast Council’s Draft Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy

18 December 2018

The Society welcomes the inclusion of indicative targets for affordable housing in Central Coast Council’s Draft Strategy, and proposes fourteen recommendations to further support and strengthen the Strategy’s capacity to meet its stated goals.


Response to the Proposed Update of the NSW Social Programs Code for Energy

12 September 2018

As the NSW Government considers updating the NSW Social Programs Code for Energy, we recommend that retailers be required to ensure all rebate customers are on the best available offer. When customers are not on the best deal they do not receive the full value of any Government rebates – instead, rebates act as subsidies for the retailer rather than the customer.


Submission to the Inquiry into Fresh Food Pricing in New South Wales

24 May 2018

This submission focuses on the prevalence of food insecurity in New South Wales, and the identification of ‘food deserts’ in communities across our State. With the Society providing close to $8 million in food support in 2017 alone, our experience speaks to the need for urgent action to improve access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food.


Submission to the Inquiry into Electricity Supply, Demand and Prices

23 October 2017

Electricity is an essential service. This submission makes eight recommendations to Government to ensure everyone in our community has access to affordable, reliable and clean energy.


Response to Greater Sydney Commission’s Draft District Plans

31 March 2017

While the Greater Sydney Commission’s Draft District Plans consider affordable housing targets in the range of 5-10%, our submission calls for more ambitious targets in district plans, supported by a high-level target across the Greater Sydney Region.


Open letter to The Hon. Mike Baird MP – Affordable Housing

15 November 2016

A consortium of community and faith-based groups are calling on the NSW Government to mandate affordable housing quotas for rezoned developments to help address the State’s worsening housing crisis.


Response to NSW Homelessness Discussion Paper

28 October 2016

Our response to the NSW Government’s Foundations for change- Homelessness in NSW discussion paper makes twenty targeted recommendations to prevent and reduce homelessness in NSW.


Homes for Older Women

15 February 2016

In February 2016, St Vincent de Paul Society endorsed A Plan for Change: Homes for Older Women. The plan proposes a series of initiatives to help ensure the growing cohort of older women at risk of homelessness can live in homes that are safe, secure and affordable.


Response to the Social Housing in NSW Discussion Paper

19 February 2015

While investment in increasing and improving the supply of social housing in NSW is an urgent priority, our submission also addresses reforms needed in the broader housing market to increase the supply of private rental housing that is affordable for lower-income households.


Submission to the NSW Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing

19 February 2015

Our submission features stories of people for whom the private rental market does not deliver. It calls for a formal plan to increase the supply of social housing, supported by capital investment, and for social housing to be defined as social infrastructure.