State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has used Parliament to call on the Government to significantly invest in social and affordable housing as the housing crisis grows worse in regional areas.
Ms Hornery raised concerns that there are over 1200 applications on the Newcastle social housing waitlist and the most recent data shows a vacancy rate of just 0.3 per cent in the private rental market.
Ms Hornery also spoke about the increasing number of no grounds evictions of tenants by landlords. As a result of these evictions, New South Wales is facing a housing crisis and the demand for homelessness services is soaring. Services in and around the Wallsend electorate have many more new clients and their budgets have been exhausted.
“There are more than 500 residents in the Hunter who are facing eviction and have nowhere to go,” Ms Hornery said.
“Every day my office is taking calls, emails and messages from locals who are struggling to find affordable accommodation due to increased prices and high demand, with some forced to live in their cars or in tents.
“One local resident spoke with me and told me that her and her partner had been told they have to vacate the premises and they had applied for hundreds of houses. She works full time with a government agency and her partner works as a security guard but they face having to live separately with friends until they can find something.
“You can imagine the impact this is having on people’s mental and physical health. This is a public servant, working a stable, well-paying job, who is still not able to find somewhere to live.
“We have a Government that has allowed housing stock to dwindle over the last ten years and there are properties that are sitting vacant or are in such a state of disrepair that they are not habitable.
“Services in and around the Wallsend Electorate are seeing so many more new clients that their budgets have been exhausted, and they no longer have the capacity to supply temporary accommodation.
“We need to see a significant investment in social and affordable housing in the very near future to avoid tent cities popping up as a result of homelessness,” Ms Hornery said.