Report finds “chronic housing shortages” in western Sydney

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Western Sydney Community Forum and Wentworth Community Housing have launched the Home in Western Sydney report at Western Sydney University, to highlight the alarming levels of housing stress experienced in the region.

In response to the report, Western Sydney University and Wentworth Community Housing have formed an alliance and committed to addressing the need for secure and affordable housing for residents.

Billie Sankovic, CEO of Western Sydney Community Forum, noted that a whole-of-community approach would lay the foundation for a solution.

“Access to safe, affordable and appropriate housing is a fundamental human need and right. Western Sydney Community Forum has joined with Wentworth Community Housing to place a spotlight on the region and draw out the key messages that evidence a shifting landscape of housing and homelessness,” said Ms Sankovic.

Stephen McIntyre, CEO of Wentworth Community Housing, also highlighted that addressing the housing shortage in the region was more than just providing homes to people.

“We know from our work in Western Sydney that secure, appropriate and affordable housing can turn lives around. Governments and communities need to work together to reinvigorate our social housing system in NSW. We have a moral responsibility to ensure that everyone has a home,” said Mr McIntyre.

The report identifies that a chronic undersupply of social and affordable housing exists in western Sydney. Other key findings include:

  • Close to 33 per cent of renting households are experiencing rental stress which occurs when a person in the bottom per cent of earners pays more than a third of their income on rent;
  • Homelessness has increased significantly since 2011, at a far greater rate than the state and national increases; and
  • Almost 6,500 additional social and affordable housing dwellings are needed per year to meet the forecast demand in 2036.

Source: Western Sydney University