Housing affordability crisis

"IF it ain't broke, don't fix it" the saying goes, well it is beyond doubt at this point – Australia's housing system is broken.

Homelessness Australia wide has increased by 14 per cent in the last five years. There are now 116,427 people in Australia thought to have no permanent home.
The situation is even worse in NSW with a 37 per cent increase in homelessness between 2011 and 2016.

Growing homelessness can be attributed to a whole raft of trends including rising housing prices, not enough houses, lack of political commitment, stagnant wages and meagre income payments. But at the top of the list is not enough social and affordable housing.

Historically social housing ensured that people living on low incomes, who were unable to afford to rent through the private market, could access affordable housing. However, due to chronic underfunding, social housing stock has dwindled and been rationed to people with the most complex and urgent housing needs.

Nationally there are over 194,600 households who are on the waiting list for social housing and are facing wait times of more than five years. In most parts of Sydney an applicant has to wait more than 10 years to be housed.

NSW social housing is no exception. The total-number of tenancies in social housing sat at 139,373 in 2016 that is only 164 more homes than in 2006.

In a bid to bolster social housing, the NSW Government sold off $500 million worth of social housing in Millers Point to fund construction for 1,500 dwellings in outer suburbs.

As of February this year, a total of 839 units have been completed with 320 still on the way. But these new dwellings are a drop in the ocean compared to the thousands of people waiting for social housing and those experiencing housing stress.