NSW to receive nearly $1bn in social housing

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New South Wales’ community housing industry is projected to deliver nearly $1bn in social and affordable housing by 2020, according to new data from the NSW Federation of Housing Associations.

Between 2012 and 2020, 18 of the state’s largest community housing providers would have delivered $1bn in new projects in 34 local government areas, according to the NSW Community Housing Industry Development Snapshot.

Moreover, between 2012 and 2017, the community housing industry provided 1,296 new social and affordable homes valued at $438m.

The industry is committed to delivering another 1,404 homes by 2020, bringing total investment to $963m.

Eighty-five percent of homes will be delivered via new development projects, and almost 80% will be developed solely by community housing providers (CHPs).

Areas that have been particularly hard hit by rental stress, including Canterbury-Bankstown and Penrith, will see the largest increase in social and affordable housing.

Wendy Hayhurst, CEO of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations, said the data was a snapshot of developments already with the councils, and doesn’t take into account development applications that have yet to be submitted.

“The snapshot demonstrates community housing providers are already able to meet growing demand for both social and affordable housing across NSW,” she said. “It shows the sector is building attractive high standard homes that meet local communities’ needs and are sympathetic to the local environment. With the right planning settings and commitment from governments, the industry can step up and build more.

“Access to land at competitive rates, as well as collaboration between the commonwealth and state governments to bridge the affordable housing funding gap and create a development pipeline large enough to unlock large scale investment from institutions such as superannuation funds, are absolutely critical.”

Despite the non-for-profit sector’s commitment to building more affordable and social housing, the new properties will barely make a dent in undersupplied Sydney, according to some analysts.  

“There is not only a need [for affordable housing] across all of metro Sydney but in the [outlying] regions as well,” Andrea Galloway, CEO of Evolve Housing, told the Domain Group. “We’re seeing the social housing waitlist grow, in part because there is not enough affordable housing to assist those who are borderline being placed into housing stress and homelessness due to the [expensive] private rental market.”

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