Launching the Build Homes, Build Hope social housing campaign at the biennial Social Justice Forum in September 2019, the Society is calling on the NSW Government to increase the supply of social housing by 5,000 additional units each year for the next 10 years in accordance with the current waitlist.
We also continued our support for the Everybody’s Home campaign, asking the Federal Government to make a similarly transformational investment at the national level.
With more than 100,000 people currently on the waiting list for social housing in NSW, many people are being forced into unsafe living conditions. For some, the time spent waiting is well over a decade.
Social housing accounts for only 4% of Australian homes, whereas in the UK it’s 16%.
According to the most recent Census figures, more than 37,000 people are experiencing homelessness across NSW. In real terms, this means every night people are forced to sleep rough on the streets, live in overcrowded conditions, and stay in abusive situations for lack of anywhere else to go.
By investing in social housing, we can help to give people a foundation of stability and alleviate the burden of severe and chronic housing stress. We can also help people build for their future; with a secure home come opportunities to find work, keep up with school, and access health and community services.
To help bring about the change we want to see, our members and volunteers have been hard at work gaining support throughout the community by meeting with their local MPs and collecting 10,000 physical signatures for a petition to be tabled in NSW Parliament.
While social distancing measures have presented a challenge in gaining signatures during the COVID-19 period, we hope to submit the petition early in the next financial year and trigger a meaningful discussion on the floor of NSW Parliament.