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Political, Property Real Estate

$10b needed to double NSW social housing supply

Homelessness NSW 2 mins read

Media release | Thursday, 7 March 2024

Homelessness NSW is urging the state government to spend $1 billion each year for a decade to double the supply of social housing by 2050. 

Homelessness NSW CEO Dominique Rowe said the state must build 5,000 dwellings annually to lift NSW’s share of social housing from one in 20 to one in 10 homes. 

“NSW has failed to invest in social housing for decades. Last year, just one-fifth of people seeking help from homelessness services could find long-term accommodation,” she said.

“Our ability to give NSW’s most vulnerable communities a roof over their heads is falling while housing stress and homelessness soar. 

“Right now, many of the 57,000 households on the social housing waitlist are forced to wait up to a decade for a safe and stable place to call home.

“Investing in social housing will not only save lives but pay dividends by easing pressure on health, community and justice services in the long run.”

In its budget submission, Homelessness NSW warns frontline services risked staff cuts and closure without a 20% funding boost. 

“Underfunded frontline providers are being flooded with calls for help and forced to turn away one in every two people who need accommodation. Services will be unable to keep staff on or their doors open without more funding,” Ms Rowe said. 

“Even for people who get through the door, help is limited. Half of those who need temporary or crisis accommodation cannot access it. That means women and children are forced to return to violent partners, seek shelter in a vehicle, on a couch or the street.”

Homelessness NSW is calling for $30 million over three years to provide more temporary accommodation and ensure one-fifth was reserved for women and children experiencing domestic violence. 

It also urged the government to develop a dedicated approach to ending homelessness among Aboriginal communities.

“It is unacceptable that we have failed to reduce the rate of homelessness among Aboriginal people who account for a third of those receiving help from frontline services in NSW,” Ms Rowe said.

“The solutions must be led by Aboriginal people and investment is needed in Aboriginal organisations and across the whole sector to support this work.”

 

Homelessness NSW is calling for:

  1. $1 billion annually for the next decade to build 5,000 social houses per year, allocating 30% of stock to Aboriginal people;

  2. A 20% funding boost for specialist homelessness services, or $64 million a year for two years;

  3. Funding for homelessness provider contracts to be indexed at 6.2% to keep pace with the cost of service delivery;

  4. $30 million over three years to secure additional temporary accommodation, including 20% reserved for women and children experiencing domestic violence;

  5. $62 million over three years to extend the state’s Together Home program;

  6. The development of an Aboriginal-led approach to ending homelessness, including ensuring providers are culturally competent;

  7. $1.2 million for non-residents experiencing homelessness;

  8. $1.8 million in housing support for people aged 55 or older;

  9. Adequate funding for a dedicated youth homelessness plan.

Media contacts:
Georgie Moore
0477 779 928

Charlie Moore
0452 606 171

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