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.

Felix Riebl wants to be in your arms

TOURING NOW: Australian musician Felix Riebl is coming to the Northern Rivers in June.

Cat Empire frontman brings out his romantic side in solo show

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Councillors vote 8-0 not to support development application

LGBQTI* community takes part in marriage equality action

VOTING FOR CHANGE: Maude Boate will be at the the marriage equality action at Lismore City Hall.

Lismore calls for awareness on marriage equality

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!