Government has committed to a target for social and affordable dwellings

Image: Family and Community Services websiteImage: Family and Community Services website

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, and Member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch, have welcomed the announcement by NSW Premier, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, that the Government has committed to a target for social and affordable dwellings.
The dwellings will be built through the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).
Mr Crouch and Mr MacDonald said there would be an opportunity for more social and affordable housing on the Central Coast, and hoped that local providers would look for opportunities to participate.
“This second phase of the SAHF will deliver more high-quality homes to those who need them most on the Central Coast,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The first phase delivered 695 homes in the Hunter New England District which includes the Central Coast.
“It will also provide tailored support coordination to ensure residents are close to transport, schools, jobs and other essential services, so they can be involved in their communities and live more independent lives,” he said.
The service packages include access to accommodation, asset and tenancy management services, and links to support services.
The NSW Government established the $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund using seed capital invested in the Government’s investment arm, NSW Treasury Corporation.
The Government will begin market sounding to engage with community housing providers, not for profit and commercial organisations in October.
Member for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch said the announcement would do little to alleviate her electorate’s decade-long waiting list for social and affordable housing.
“Hundreds of people are turned away from Coast Shelter every year,” Ms Tesch said.
“I welcome all investment that gets people in need into proper accommodation and off the streets, out of cars, or off friend’s couches,” she said
“The 3,400 new dwellings across NSW that the Minister has announced is a start, but really just drop in the ocean of need that we have on the Central Coast.
“Along with this investment, it’s time the stigma of social and affordable housing ended.
“Many people who find themselves in need of housing have experienced a catastrophic life event like losing their job, bad health diagnosis, or violence at home.
“It’s not a choice they make, it’s not their preference, but a necessity.
“It’s not something unique to particular social demographics or suburbs.
“It’s all around us.
“Many families, possibly right next door, are on the line financially, on the line health wise, on the line with their job.
“These people are not someone else.
“They are our colleagues, our friends from sport or the surf club, the parents of children at school, or the people next to us in line at the shops.
“We need to make sure that every person in need of accommodation is provided it.
“For basic human dignity, the government should be stepping in to make sure that people are not sleeping rough and that there is accommodation available for all who need it, as best it can.
“As a community, we need to be more accepting of those around us who are vulnerable.
“We need to open our arms, not close them across our chest, to people in need.
“Demonisation and assumption-making about people who need social and affordable housing is unhelpful to our community, and only serves to tear us apart.
“It does nothing to help the problem, or lift us up.
“I would encourage all locals to not get caught up in the easy argument against these new homes, and to think about what this investment means to a family with no other option, a person who lost their home simply because they got sick and couldn’t work anymore, or a survivor of domestic violence who has fled with nothing but the clothes on their back.
“We are better when we support those in need, and if this investment provides more housing for vulnerable people, then that is a good thing for our community.”

Media release, Sep 12
Kit Hale, office of Scot MacDonald
Media statement, Sep 14
Richard Mehrtens, office of Liesl Tesch