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The latest social housing waiting times release from the NSW Government show business as usual will not shift the 59 000 long list of households in need of a home according to the NSW Council of Social Service.

NCOSS Deputy CEO John Mikelsons says despite good work from the Government in a number of areas, the waiting list had only been reduced by 500 in the past year.

“In Sydney, Australia’s most expensive housing market, the numbers are particularly bad. There is virtually nowhere that households are waiting less than 5 years. In many areas in Sydney the crisis is so bad, it is impossible to predict how long it will take.

“New thinking is desperately needed to reduce the crisis numbers of people waiting to access social housing.

“A stable roof over your head is a basic need. We know without one, people find it almost impossible to get and keep a job, to send their kids to school or access services like healthcare.

“We need to see these numbers reduce significantly.”

Mr Mikelsons said the waiting list showed why it is so important that the agreement between NCOSS, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and the NSW Government to develop a Social and Affordable Housing fund was progressed rapidly.

“Social and affordable housing stock in NSW needs an injection of funds and it needs new and innovative thinking to make the best possible use of those funds.

“We know that community housing providers and other key stakeholders stand ready to offer the innovative solutions the state needs to tackle the state's chronic housing crisis.

“The Fund, once delivered, will be a game changer for households and families currently waiting up to ten years for a stable roof over their heads. 

“Secure, affordable housing that is connected to transport and jobs, to education and support services is a crucial piece of the puzzle for reducing poverty and disadvantage in this state.”