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Houses Sit Empty While People Sleep Rough

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State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today move a Notice of Motion calling on the Minister for Homes to get on with building new housing properties or put tenants back in to empty properties at Maryland.

The call comes after more than 12 months of over a dozen homes sitting empty across the Wallsend electorate.

Last year, Housing NSW moved all of the existing tenants out of the homes into temporary homes to knock down and rebuild more social housing on these properties.

Despite assurances to the previous tenants and my office that work would soon be underway, the properties sit vacant and unused 12 months on.

With the number of people struggling to find housing and the dramatic increase of people sleeping rough, Ms Hornery will call on the Minister for Homes to ensure these properties are either rebuilt as quickly as possible or utilised to alleviate the housing crisis until a decision about their future is made.


”We have a wait list for housing at an all-time high and a record number of people sleeping rough around Newcastle and the Hunter,” Ms Hornery said.

“I have staff in my office who work every minute of their workday just on housing issues.  Finding people temporary accommodation or finding out from Housing NSW where their application for priority housing is up to.

“Every day we are sending people to local charities to ensure that they can sleep rough safely, all the while we have a dozen properties in the suburb that have sat without a tenant for more than 12 months.

“Last year my staff helped Housing negotiate with existing tenants to move out so they could build additional housing stock in the area to help the current rental crisis that exists.  Yet 12 months on, nothing has been done.

“Housing NSW have advised that the plans have to be changed again and it could be another 12 months before any works commence as no plans have been submitted to Council.

“This is not good enough. There are more than 50,000 people on the Housing waiting list.  People are sleeping rough in the Wallsend electorate every night and the Minister needs to move and move quickly on these properties.

“This is not good enough and we need to see works commence and houses built,” said Ms Hornery.