Like many communities in Sydney and New South Wales, the inner west faces a housing affordability crisis. For young people, and vulnerable people in particular, the availability of housing that is affordable, safe and well maintained is frighteningly low. I regularly hear from locals that they cannot afford to buy a home in our suburbs. Even renters are being priced out of the inner west, with vacancies low and prices sky-high. The waiting list for public and community housing continues to blow out, with people waiting an average of 10 years from the time they first apply for housing. Across the State, we know that more than 58,000 people are on the social housing waiting list. The most vulnerable in our community—those in insecure housing and those experiencing homelessness—are under increasing pressure, as more people who have traditionally been able to secure housing are forced into crisis housing or onto the street.

After 12 long years of a Liberal-Nationals Government in New South Wales, housing affordability is at an all-time low. There can be no question that housing affordability was a key issue at the State election and that Labor's bold policies to address the issue were a key driver in electing a new Labor Government. We will not waste time in getting on with these important reforms. We have already acted—it was one of our first orders of business—to assist first home buyers across New South Wales, including in the inner west.

The Government has introduced the First Home Buyer Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, which will increase the first home buyer stamp duty exemption from $650,000 to $800,000 and the concession threshold from $800,000 to $1 million. While the former Government prioritised people buying a home over $1 million, our Government is committed to assisting people who would otherwise not be able to get a foot in the housing market. Under our plan, five out of six first home buyers will receive a boost to help them compete with investors and established home owners. People who buy their first home for up to $800,000 will not have to pay stamp duty, saving them $31,000. People buying their first home of up to $1 million will pay a reduced rate of stamp duty. It will make a huge difference for those looking to enter the housing market, including in the Summer Hill electorate.

We have already acted on rental reforms to assist the nearly 40 per cent of people who rent their homes across the inner west community. We are working to enact our groundbreaking policies. We are going to end secret rent bidding and enable portable bonds, so that renters are not left on the hook for thousands of dollars after leaving one rental property and moving to another. We will make it easier for renters to own a pet. We will work to end no-grounds evictions, which will help to rebalance the rental market by ensuring that tenants can no longer be evicted for no reason at all. We will appoint a Rental Commissioner, who will ensure that the rights of tenants are respected and protected. And we will give renters a powerful voice as we work across government to address the lack of housing affordability. Importantly, the commissioner will be supported in their work by a government that respects and understands the challenges faced by renters.

We are also acting urgently to support people living in public and social housing. We know the former Government sold off $3.5 billion in public housing, and what did we get for it? We got a reduction in the available housing for people who need it most. The Minister for Housing, the Hon. Rose Jackson, has acted immediately to freeze the sale of public housing. It is a simple proposition: As more people need housing support, we need more affordable housing, not less. On this measure, the Premier has acted decisively, tasking Ministers to identify State‑owned land that can be used for housing, with a minimum ratio of 30 per cent for affordable and social housing. We will not be able to unpick the mess left by the former Government overnight, but we are committed to supporting people across New South Wales to access affordable, safe and secure housing.

Combating the issues around housing affordability requires more than just talk. Like many in the inner west community, I was disappointed with the former Government's lack of action. I was also frustrated to learn that The Greens political party joined forces with the Liberal-Nationals Coalition in the Senate to block the Albanese Federal Government's $10 billion housing policy. That bill will establish a $10 billion fund and it will fund an additional 30,000 affordable and social homes to be built across the next five years. Of those homes, 20,000 would be built as social housing, with 4,000 for women and children escaping domestic violence. Those homes would be a lifeline for the people and families currently struggling to literally put a roof over their heads. Despite others making all the right noises, it is clear that only Labor, both here in Macquarie Street and in Canberra, is committed to fixing the housing affordability crisis in New South Wales and across our country.