Newly released data has revealed an alarming increase in homelessness in NSW.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal a staggering 37 percent increase in homelessness in NSW, up from 28,191 in 2011 to 37,715 in 2016. Comparatively, the increase was 14 percent nation-wide.
In the Inner West LGA the number of homeless has increased by 16% from the last count in the three former Council areas combined.
Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Tania Mihailuk has slammed the NSW Government for failing to adopt an affordable housing strategy and failing to invest in social housing, along with the Liberal’s rampant selling of more than $1.4 billion worth of social housing since 2011 despite the escalating housing crisis.
Data from Property NSW’s ‘Property asset sales and transfers report’ reveals that more than 4,200 public housing properties have been sold off in NSW since the Liberal-National Government was elected in 2011.
Last year the Auditor General report on FACs found spending on social housing had reached its lowest levels since 2014 despite the social housing waiting list ballooning out to over 60,000 applicants as housing affordability continued to worsen.
In 2015-2016, $5.93 million of social housing was flogged off in the former Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville LGAs.
Additionally, data from FACS reveals that almost every housing allocation zone in metropolitan Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle, Illawarra and North Coast now has a minimum 10-year wait for a 2-to-3 bedroom property.
Quotes attributable to Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen
“On the Liberal Government’s watch, the inner west now has over 2,200 people who are homeless, a disturbing increase of 16% since the previous count.
“On every count, the Premier and her Government are dragging their feet while they look after developers and the big end of town.
“Senior residents are being forced into overcrowded and unsafe living arrangements because they can’t afford otherwise and that young people are facing homelessness because of skyrocketing rents, and evidence shows that victims of domestic violence often stay in unhealthy relationships due to a lack of housing options.
“If the Government can waste $2.7 billion knocking down and rebuilding perfectly good stadiums, it can make sure that the most vulnerable in our community aren’t living rough on the street.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing Tania Mihailuk
“The ABS has today confirmed what we all feared, that homelessness is on the rise in New South Wales and yet the Government still wants to spend $2.7 billion on its stadium splurge.
“It’s not a statistic that any State or Territory would want to lead in and this Liberal-National Government in NSW should hang its head in shame that despite unprecedented economic growth homelessness has skyrocketed.
“Rather than tackling homelessness, the NSW Government has flogged off over 4,000 social housing properties since being elected in 2011.
“The NSW Government has failed to come up with a plan to tackle the rise in homelessness despite raking in more than $11 billion dollars in stamp duty revenue.
“Instead of boasting about being ‘the envy of the Western World’, the Berejiklian Government should be taking immediate action to address the key factors contributing to the rise in homelessness in NSW and prioritise social and affordable housing investment.”