Hunter based community housing provider, Compass Housing Services (Compass), is calling for the NSW Government to make major investments in social and affordable housing as well as programs to support people experiencing homelessness in the upcoming (November 17) NSW Budget.
Group managing director, Greg Budworth, said building more social and affordable housing will help tackle the shortage of housing stock in the region, and elsewhere in NSW, as well as provide effective economic stimulus and job creation.
Mr Budworth said Compass keenly awaited detail of how many packages the Hunter and Central Coast will receive under the Government’s extension of its new Together Home project for rough sleepers.
“The NSW Government has flagged the construction and maintenance of social and affordable housing will be a budget priority, which is very welcome news,” Mr Budworth said.
“The Government has already shown a commitment to improving the amount of, and quality of, social and affordable housing - with record spending through programs such as the Social and Affordable Housing Scheme (SAHF) – but more is needed,” he said.
There is a shortage of more than 400,000 affordable homes nationally for low income households. Social housing waiting lists remain high with people waiting an average of five to 10 years for a place in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.
Mr Budworth said direct investment by governments in the construction of new homes is far more effective for the economy and society than ad hoc grants and schemes. He said new social housing brings a new pipeline of work creating new jobs for tradies.
“Many community housing providers and developers have shovel ready projects, so the stimulus is almost immediate.”
“Funding new affordable housing does more to reduce housing stress for both renters and buyers across the housing market.
“Homelessness is a growing issue for our region and the rest of NSW, exacerbated by COVID-19 as well as other systemic issues such as rising domestic violence rates.”
“When people have a safe and stable roof over their head, they are better able to focus on addressing their health issues, looking after their families, staying productive at work or training or finding work.”
Compass is building 493 new homes at 19 sites across the Hunter and Central Coast as part of the $1.1B state-wide SAHF program. It received 30 packages for the Hunter region under the Together Home project’s first round of funding in June 2020. The Government has announced it will increase funding for that project statewide by $29 million in the Budget.
Compass is a, not for profit, Tier 1, community housing provider managing more than 7000 properties in NSW and Queensland.