21 June, 2016
The state peak body for affordable housing has welcomed the Government’s commitment of new funding to housing assistance initiatives that will help lower-income and disadvantaged households in private rental housing.
"The Budget puts dollars behind proposals floated in the Government’s Future directions for social housing in NSW strategy that will make a difference for vulnerable households and individuals. We note, in particular, the ‘Rent Choice’ subsidy which will provide medium-term support and another new rental subsidy, for homeless war veterans — as well as continued support for the ‘Start Safely’ subsidy’ for people leaving domestic violence", said Mary Perkins, executive officer of Shelter NSW.
"We are also pleased to see funding for programs that will help improve education and employment outcomes for current residents in public housing, including children in public-housing families.
"The boost to funding to specialist homelessness services that work with young people is also welcome.
Ms Perkins noted that Shelter NSW had suggested the Government commit funds to longer-term solutions to the housing needs of lower-income households, in its Housing everyone: 10 proposals for the 2016 state budget and beyond.
"We were, and are still, concerned that the steady and enhanced supply of affordable-rental housing by social-housing providers — the Land and Housing Corporation and community-housing providers — needs a capital injection through the Budget process.
"The current 2 key mechanisms being used to expand social housing, the Land and Housing Corporation’s portfolio strategy and the Social and Affordable Housing Fund for leveraging resources from nongovernment organizations, are creative and certainly contribute to supply.
"The Social and Affordable Housing Fund has been given $6 million in the new financial year to support its operations, which will assist in delivering 3,000 new dwellings.
"To enable solutions at scale, these initiatives needed to be supplemented by a dedicated Budget appropriation", Ms Perkins said.
Mary Perkins, Executive Officer — 0419 919 091 (m), 9267 5733 ext.14