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Northern Rivers community in dire need of more social housing

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

With the State Government now elected in NSW, the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) joins the call from the Northern Rivers Housing Forum for a firm commitment to increase Social and Affordable Housing.

Every day more than 37,000 people in NSW experience homelessness, and this figure is increasing.

In the Northern Rivers 13.2% of households in the lowest 40% of incomes are paying more than 30% of their gross weekly income on housing costs (16,179 households), compared to 11.7% for NSW (2016 Census).

With the second tightest private rental market in NSW, the Northern Rivers has become the least affordable regional area for rental accommodation in the state.

NRJO chair, Danielle Mulholland said "Housing affordability and housing stress are major issues in the NSW Northern Rivers.

"Over recent decades house prices and rents have risen faster than incomes, particularly in coastal areas with Byron, Ballina and The Tweed Shire three of the least affordable local government areas in regional NSW."

North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) CEO and Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) Chair John McKenna cites the recently released “Estimating need and costs of social and affordable housing delivery” by UNSW, which estimates the Northern Rivers will require over 12,000 new social and affordable housing outcomes between now and 2036 to keep pace with population growth.

“The number of homes that we need is clearly enormous but it can be delivered if all levels of government work together and recognise that subsidised housing is not possible without government subsidy in some form.

“State and local governments need to prioritise the delivery of the housing their communities need – either through capital grants in cash or government land, and planning mechanism that recognise housing as critical local infrastructure that will help their local communities thrive.”

As part of its advocacy on key areas of need identified under the strategic regional priority projects, the NRJO urges the NSW Government to provide a firm commitment to develop a minimum of 100 additional social housing properties per year for the next ten years as a start towards meeting the need.

Northern Rivers Joint Organisation contact details

PO Box 239, Lismore, NSW 2480
68 587 813 167
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