Media Release: Minns Government’s record social housing surge bends NSW’s catastrophic trajectory

Minns Government’s record social housing surge bends NSW’s catastrophic trajectory

The social housing surge, announced today by Treasurer Daniel Mookhey in the New South Wales budget, represents a dramatic pivot from the state’s alarming slide over the past decade. 

Mr Mookhey today announced the government would invest $5.1 billion into social housing, the biggest investment into public and community housing in the state’s history. 

The budget announcement came after the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW and the McKell Institute took the unprecedented step of issuing a joint state budget submission to call on the NSW Government to commit to a social housing surge. The submission pointed out that there were some 57,600 households – 125,000 individuals – awaiting social housing, with wait times averaging five to ten years.

McKell had called for a $5 billion dollar investment to address the challenge. 

The submission also detailed how the habitability of NSW social housing had been tumbling much faster than the rate of other states. Habitable public houses in NSW decreased from 74 per cent to 60 per cent between 2014 to 2023 – a rate of decline unique to NSW.

“The Treasurer has repeatedly noted he’s committed to running a tight ship, but he should be congratulated for also recognising the moral and economic imperative to make a generational investment in social housing today,” said McKell Institute chief executive Edward Cavanough. 

“Addressing serious societal problems is what voters expect when they elect progressive governments.

“Vinnies are telling us they’ve confronted a 70 per cent rise in unmet requests for housing over the past five years. The primary reason for service denial is the unavailability of accommodation”

“It is currently common for people to remain in refuges for up to four years, due to limited exit options. This prolonged duration hinders recovery journeys and exacerbates trauma. It also constrains the Society’s ability to assist other clients in urgent need of support.

“It is not the Minns Government’s fault that the situation has reached crisis point, but it falls to the Minns Government to fix it. 

“If the government failed to take urgent action now, New South Wales would become an entirely different society within a decade. Children who could have been economically productive would end up trapped in the justice system. Communities that could have been safe and prosperous would become dangerous and miserable. 

“This is the trajectory we were on and this is the trajectory the government is admirably attempting to bend today.”