NSW rental affordability crisis needs urgent action

The NSW Government must act to address the worsening rental affordability crisis across the state, warns Greens MP and Housing spokesperson, Jan Barham.

“Without a dedicated Housing Minister and with ongoing uncertainty about agreements with the Commonwealth on housing and homelessness, an already grim situation could quickly deteriorate further,” Ms Barham said.

“The Government needs to ensure affordable housing is an essential target in planning future development in Sydney and regional centres. The State Government must call on the Commonwealth to improve income support to vulnerable people and commit to extending the partnership agreements that fund housing programs,” Ms Barham said.

Ms Barham’s call for action follows yesterday’s release of Anglicare’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot.

“Anglicare’s report shows that the problems with rental affordability in NSW are widespread and leave the most vulnerable at risk of homelessness. In Sydney, only 33 of the more than 12,000 available rentals were affordable and appropriate to people on income support. The problem is also worsening in the regions. In many regional areas jobs can be hard to come by, and the lack of affordable housing for people on income support is presents additional challenges. In my home town of Byron Bay, there were no rentals appropriate to people on the minimum wage or income support.

“The Premier should acknowledge the extent of the affordable housing problems in NSW by appointing a Minister with dedicated responsibility to fix it.

“There are things that can and must be done at the state level, without waiting for federal support. The NSW Government can provide greater support to help vulnerable and disadvantaged people access and maintain appropriate rental accommodation and break away from what is sometimes intergenerational disadvantage. The Government must also review its social housing stock and deliver on its overdue strategies to provide the housing that is needed, including single-person dwellings and housing for the aged and people with disabilities.

“Coordinating the state’s social and affordable housing delivery, pressing the Federal Government to meet its commitments, and supporting innovation in the housing sector are challenges that need an urgent focus,” Ms Barham concluded.

Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot for Greater Sydney

Anglicare National Rental Affordability Snapshot (incl. NSW regions)

NSW Select Committee Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891