World Homeless Day
Vinnies NSW is calling for an urgent increase in social housing, during World Homeless Day on 10 October.
More than 100,000 people are currently on the NSW social housing waitlist, many facing homelessness in the meantime. Some people have been on the list for more than 10 years.
“It’s self-evident that more housing will help address the chronic homelessness problem, but this isn’t translating into enough concrete action on the ground,” said Jack de Groot, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.
“The NSW Government has a building plan, but we need to urgently ramp that up and take major action to house our growing population. That’s why Vinnies has launched Build Homes, Build Hope, a new campaign calling on the Government to build an extra 5,000 social housing properties per year for the next decade.”
Social housing is rental housing funded by government and provided by government or non-government organisations for those who are unable to secure suitable accommodation in the private market.
A recent report from the Productivity Commission showed that many households on low incomes are barely getting by in private rentals. It found that 66% of low-income households spend over 30% of their income on rent, while more of this cohort – including families and single-parent households – are getting stuck in this situation for years on end.
“Social housing accounts for only 4% of Australian homes, whereas in the UK it’s 16%. We’re failing people on low incomes,” Mr de Groot said.
“When you take the lack of social housing in consideration with the stagnant rate of income support payments like Newstart, it’s next to impossible for people in poverty to get back on their feet. This is leading many people to face homelessness, a situation that is entirely preventable.”
On World Homeless Day, Vinnies is calling on NSW residents to sign its petition for more social housing. It can be found at vinnies.org.au/socialhousing.
“We all want to make a difference when we see people sleeping rough, but sometimes it’s hard to know-how. Here’s a tangible and immediate way to help – call on the Government to build homes and build hope for those who are facing homelessness,” Mr de Groot said.