“What other Government service is there, where you can apply and be found eligible, but then told you face a wait of over 10 years to receive the service?” None, except in housing”.
This was to the challenging reminder of Rebeccas Pinkstone, CEO Bridge Housing during this week’s Ahi Homelessness Week event at the NSW Parliament.
It has been encouraging to hear the Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson talk about the need to not just reduce the social waiting list, but to better understand the needs and experience of people on it. And at close to 58,000 households, as at June 2022 there’s a lot to understand!
During Homelessness Week we have had the opportunity to be reminded (again) of the reality of actually being or at risk of homeless; the latter bringing its own stress and hardship.
The formal launch of a key piece of research about the experience of waiting for social housing has provided an important and comprehensive extension of this. One of the research authors Professor Alan Morris, Institute for Public Policy and Governance, University of Technology Sydney quotes one such prospective social tenant in this August article in The Conversation: Ït’s soul-destroying
Shelter NSW has been very proud to be a financial contributor to this important research – research that not only includes insight about the lived experience of ‘waithood’ but delves into the various definitional variations between states; ways in which Governments assess eligibility (initially and over time), ‘massage’ and eventually report on data.
We commend this research to our members, allies, sector colleagues and departmental associates.
- For the full report: Waithood: The experiences of applying for and waiting for social housing
- For an earlier Shelter NSW article on the NSW social housing waiting list (including media mentions): Social Housing waitlist -57000 households in NSW and counting
- Overview by Shelter NSW of the NSW June 2022 Social Housing Waiting List, the largest since 2016 – including 2012-2021 trend: Social housing waitlist data – it’s here but what does it tell us?
- ABC TV video: Homelessness rises amid Australia’s national housing crisis (June 24, 2023) https://youtu.be/xAaceeO_ZGw
- The Conversation article by Professor Alan Morris: https://theconversation.com/its-soul-destroying-how-people-on-a-housing-wait-list-of-175-000-describe-their-years-of-waiting-210705