New report finds investment in social housing is critical to Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery
Published on 15/05/2020
Build additional social and affordable housing stock across NSW; repair old social housing stock; and rapidly acquire properties in the private market to find a permanent solution for rough sleepers and others in temporary/crisis accommodation.
These three initiatives are critical to Australia’s post COVID-19 economic recovery, a new report finds. They will achieve the recover goals of:
- Responding to rising unemployment.
- Supporting businesses, particularly small to medium enterprises in regional areas.
- Slowing the decline in income and wealth.
- Easing inequality and disadvantage.
The report was commissioned by NCOSS, Shelter NSW, Community Housing Industry Association NSW, Tenants' Union of NSW and Homelessness NSW.
The report also noted the precariousness of renters in NSW currently on the Jobseeker Supplement if the supplement ceases in September 2020.
'Before the introduction of the Jobseeker Supplement, less than 1 per cent of rental properties in Greater Sydney and Illawarra were considered affordable for families without work, as measured by requiring less than 30 per cent of household income.
The welcome introduction of the Jobseeker Supplement has improved rental affordability temporarily, with 10 per cent of properties in Greater Sydney and Illawarra now affordable.
However, the conclusion of the Jobseeker Supplement in September 2020 will return a record number of unemployed households to few, if any, affordable housing options. COVID-19 is expected to drive down rents due to lower population growth and the consolidation of households. A fall in rents could help address housing affordability for some, but the evidence indicates that it may not help our most disadvantaged. This is because rents at the lower end of the market tend to be more inelastic as landlords are already only covering costs. In addition, the affordability gap is so large that median rents would need to fall between 55 and 77 per cent in NSW for rents to become affordable for someone on the base rate of Jobseeker.’
Read the report Supporting Economic Recovery in NSW: Investment in Social and Affordable Housing is Critical to Supporting Jobs Today and Families into the Future.
For the latest info see our Renters' Guide to COVID-19.