A recent report has revealed some grim news about the social housing sector in NSW, and one politician is outraged.
Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Tania Mihailuk has slammed the Government for presiding over 2,000 plus vacant properties and a 40 per cent hike in maintenance costs.
MORE NEWS: Bruce Willis finally sells Idaho ski home
“It’s clear that this government is more interested in swinging a wrecking ball through social housing and selling off properties than maintaining the current assets,” she said.
“Thousands of vulnerable people have been deprived of the chance of a stable roof over their heads by a government that is more focused on smoke and mirrors announcements than on reducing the social housing waiting list.
“This is a government that is more interested in selling off social housing to property developers and investors than increasing the supply of social and affordable housing.”
The Auditor-General’s report shows that as of the Juen 30 there were 2,682 vacant social housing properties up from 2,096 from the same time last year.
Ms Mihailuk said the report also showed a 40 per cent blowout in maintenance expenses for social housing since a new maintenance contract started in April 2016, from $296 million in 2015-16 to $413 million for the 2017-18 financial year.
She said the report also showed that a further 450 social housing properties were sold off by the Government in 2017-18, compared to 274 properties in 2016-17.
“The Berejiklian Liberal Government has left a record 2,600 public housing properties vacant and idle despite a growing 60,000-plus waiting list,” Ms Mihailuk said.
“There were fewer than 100 empty properties when Labor was last in government, under the Liberals the number of vacant properties has grown to 2,682.
“This is depriving thousands of people of the chance to have a stable roof over their heads.”
Ms Mihailuk said these figures come at a time when housing applicants are facing a 10-year minimum wait for a property to become available in many housing zones throughout NSW.
She said there are an estimated 60,000 applications (equivalent to more than 100,000 people) on a waiting list for a property.