News

Long wait for public housing

If you live on the Far North Coast and you've been waiting for public housing, then chances are you've still got a long wait ahead. Earlier this month, for the first time in history, the NSW Government released public housing waiting list times, which show the Northern Rivers area has some of the longest waiting times in the state.

In Byron Bay and Tweed Heads you could be waiting at least 10 years for a one- to three-bedroom house and there is a similar wait in Ballina for two- to four-bedroom houses and Casino for two-bedroom houses.

The waiting time drops to five to10 years in Casino for houses with three to four bedrooms and in Lismore, the average waiting time is two to five years for a one- or two-bedroom house.

Northern Rivers Social Development Council housing officer Trish Evans said the government's announcement was "not a sudden revelation".

"Waiting times for social housing have always been high across NSW, especially

in our area where we have the lowest levels of social housing stock in the state," Ms Evans said.

"Part of the pressure is that we are growing so rapidly. In the Northern Rivers, the population has been growing at 1.3% per annum and Tweed is growing at 2% per annum, faster than Sydney's 1.2%. With the extra increase in population we don't have a correlating increase in the supply of housing; not just social housing, but housing for purchase and private rental."

With 56,056 people currently listed on the NSW public housing waiting list, Ms Evans said the government's release of waiting times will help people understand "it's futile to wait for housing in some locations".

"Many people don't understand the housing situation is as dire as it is," Ms Evans said. "The government is making it clear it can't be held responsible for everyone that needs housing. In the national context, NSW has the largest shortfall in housing each year of about 75,000 houses and also has the highest projected population growth. We need to stop relying on government housing and look to opportunities in the private market for purchase and for rental. There are currently opportunities available to support this through planning legislation changes."

Ms Evans also said that with so few public houses available, being on a low income was no longer a sufficient reason to gain access to public housing stock.

"The government has had to target access to housing to people in extreme need," Ms Evans said. "So that means we have more and more people who simply cannot afford housing and they are left to find housing in the private market, and this too is no longer affordable."

"There's a misconception that only people on income support payments are in housing difficulty, but it's also middle society that is struggling. There is an increase in the number of working households that don't earn enough to meet rising housing costs. In particular, towns in coastal areas are having a hard time retaining their workforce because workers can no longer afford to stay there. This can have detrimental repercussions for our communities because when people move out of high-cost areas in search of affordable housing, they often move away from employment opportunities and services, uproot their children, removing them from their social networks and take on long commutes to work."

For more information about social housing waiting times, visit the website www.housingpathways.nsw.gov.au.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Not whether we win or lose, but how we play

Not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.

Could farming the secret to longevity and living to 100?

Reg Allen turns 100 with staff, friends and family at St Joseph's Nursing Home in Lismore.

Gentle man turns 100 with wife by his side.

No chutney and scones on verandah today

Dr Airdre Grant

Life in the country you don't see in the magazines.

Latest deals and offers

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

WHAT price would you put on your kids’ eyesight? If you could give someone their vision back for $32, would you do it?

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Blood-stained clothes seized after axe attack

Lismore Court House.

A landlord has been charged over an axe attack on her tenant

School girl porn ring site goes offline

The Federal Government is yet to confirm if the site has been taken down or simply moved to different offshore servers.

Controversial Australian nude school girl rating site disappears.

Renowned cabinet maker at our gallery

SHARP END:

Renowned cabinet-maker talks at new exhibition

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep