A social housing investment boom is the centrepiece of NCOSS’s state-wide plan to support NSW’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the peak body’s Pre-Budget Submission to the NSW Government, NCOSS is urging a focus on housing, the social services sector and building more resilient, inclusive communities.
With 61 per cent of job losses since May 2021 in NSW being in female-dominated industries, the submission advocates for investments that will assist women in need.
This Pre-Budget Submission calls on the NSW Government to:
1. Ensure people have a safe, healthy, accessible and affordable place to call home
a. Build 5,000 additional units of social housing every year for the next 10 years
b. Upgrade inefficient fixtures (water, heating and cooling) and improve the thermal performance of existing social housing stock
c. Renew and expand the NSW Appliance Replacement Offer program to support lower-income households to replace inefficient appliances
d. Mandate minimum accessibility standards (Silver Level Livable Design) in NSW building regulation
2. Invest in essential support, social cohesion and job security for women by boosting recurrent baseline funding for the social services sector by 20 per cent
3. Embed place-based NGOs in emergency management systems to improve local emergency responses and recovery.
“We have social housing wait times in many areas of more than a decade and we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of people who have experienced family violence seeking specialist homelessness services,” NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said.
“It is clear more needs to be done to invest in safe, secure and affordable housing.
“In addition, disadvantaged communities are most at risk from the impacts of climate change, so ensuring housing that is up to the task is also vital.”
Ms Quilty said the proposals reflected an urgent need to support vulnerable people coming out of the pandemic and a longer-term need to build more resilient and inclusive communities.
“Frontline services and peak organisations have supported communities through bushfires, drought, floods, multiple COVID-19 outbreaks and associated economic and social dislocation,” she said.
“These recent crises have shone a light on some of the biggest challenges facing our state: including that the most basic of human rights – having a decent home – is out of reach for a growing number of people.
“It has also revealed the essential role that the social services sector plays in a crisis – supporting families and communities to get through it together – but that the sector doesn’t have sufficient resources, nor adequate involvement in critical planning and decision-making processes, to sustain the support needed for vulnerable individuals and communities to recover and thrive.
“Addressing these challenges now is not only the right thing to do, it will deliver economic and social dividends, driving job creation and boosting NSW’s economic recovery.”
NCOSS’s Pre-Budget Submission can be accessed here.
Download the Media Release Here: Building a More Resilient and Inclusive NSW
To find out more about NCOSS, visit: www.ncoss.org.au
Media contact: Nick Trainor – 0407 078 138