More than 7,000 social housing dwellings needed annually for next 20 years in Sydney

To move people in the bottom-income quintile out of housing stress in Sydney, more than 7,000 social housing dwellings need to be built each year for the next two decades.

According to Dr Laurence Troy, ‘Around a third of this is just to maintain the (existing) share, which we are not currently doing.’

Dr Troy, who is Research Fellow/Lecturer, City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, says ‘the bottom quintile households we identify would (almost) all be eligible for social housing under the current system.

‘If we put this next to current housing targets of 30,000 per year, around 20% of all housing growth would need to be social housing.

Speaking about AHURI’s just-completed report on social housing as infrastructure, Dr Troy’s team have quantified social housing needs across Australia according to ABS’s SA4 (Statistical Area Level).

The figures suggested are based on existing residents, so AHURI’s estimates are not premised on ‘some grand social redistribution across Sydney’, says Dr Troy.

The report costs-out delivery of such a program, based on a not-for-profit model, but with different subsidy arrangements. ‘The cheapest way to fund this, from a government point of view, is to provide capital grant funding,’ Dr Troy says.

For the short version of AHURI’s report, go to:

AHURI Short Report

For the full version, go to:

AHURI Full Report

Young people need 10 fundamental changes, says YouthAction

Young people in NSW need fundamental changes – including reliable housing – to improve their lives, according to YouthAction’s just- published report.

A NSW for Young People: Beyond 2019 calls for ‘a safe and affordable place to call home’ in its 10-point plan.

The report focusses on young people who are excluded and experience disadvantage.

It is based on consultation and research with thousands of young people, and hundreds of youth support services in recent years.

Read the Report

Housing Is Now The Number One Issue For Voters in NSW

Listen in as Churches Housing CEO Magnus Linder is interviewed by Hope FM’s Stephen O’Doherty about housing affordability in Sydney.

Less than 1% of private rentals are affordable for people on low incomes in the Greater Sydney area. Housing stress and rising homelessness are hurting not only renters but their families, employers and whole communities...

Click here to link to the interview and related facts


Minute with Magnus

Magnus-whitespace_addedIt’s busy days! Here are some things that I’ve been doing and thinking about, mostly housing related.

  • I dropped in for a day at the Powerhousing Conference and was challenged by the obvious flow-on effect that the booming markets in Sydney and Melbourne have had on Hobart, now the least affordable in Australia if measured by income. With down-sizers, investors and AirBnBers snapping up Hobart properties, this has quickly pushed many of the locals out of the market and has seen a rapidly escalating problem of homelessness.
  • It’s now less than 2 years before we see the first of the 38,000 NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) properties lost to the affordable housing sector. This scheme lasts for the first 10 years only of these properties’ lives. No scheme exists to replace any of these properties nor to build new ones at any meaningful scale, so the affordability crisis will likely continue to escalate. Three steps forward … 4 steps back …
  • I’ve taken a week off to paint my own ‘affordable housing’ – a secondary dwelling or granny flat for my daughter and son-in-law. Where else can you get a small house in Sydney for $150k? But why did the DA complete with 80-page flora and fauna report (in Parramatta LGA!!), transport plans and waste management plans take two years and about $20,000 before we even started to build? We appear to have the same process for a 55m2 granny flat as we do for a 10-storey unit block, but why?
  • I’m enjoying being part of the Parramatta Affordable Housing Action Team, one of 11 such teams established across Sydney to advocate for affordable housing and for civil society to work with local councils and state MPs. This is a strategic partnership between the Sydney Alliance and Vinnies. Please contact me or the Sydney Alliance if you wish to know more and to find your own local team.
  • In the midst of my busy-ness I’ve been taking my own mental health pills in the form of marathon training – aiming for the Blackmore’s Sydney Marathon on Sunday, 16 September. How do you stay sane in the midst of your busyness?

All’s not well in the gardens of Eden

Regional areas, particularly up and down the east coast, are reeling under the shockwaves from the Sydney and Melbourne property booms. Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and the Tweed have all seen affordability and supply issues soar. Churches Housing’s CEO, Magnus Linder, has just returned from Eden where the Salvos, Uniting and Anglican churches are all crying out for more crisis, transition, social and affordable housing. They are prepared to throw some land (pictured) at the problem but, of course, there are many hurdles before anything can be built to alleviate what are escalating housing problems for many communities. Treating housing purely as an asset class has led to market failure for many people who simply need housing as shelter.

Churches Housing AGM 2018

Image: Brett HemmingsLachlan’s in Old Government House, Parramatta Park, is the venue for Churches Housing’s annual general meeting.

We’d love you to join us for a light breakfast and reports on the year past and our plans for next year, so reserve your place now.

Transport: public transport, via Parramatta bus and train interchange is a 10-15 minute and car parking is available inside the park. See

Event: Churches Housing annual general meeting

Venue: Lachlan’s at Old Government House, Parramatta Park, enter via Pitt St, Parramatta

Date: Fri 19th October

Time: 9.30am-11am

Cost: no charge

Bookings: essential – contact Philippa Yelland

The future matters for children and families

04 pic Their Futures MatterCo-ordinated services for vulnerable children and families are the goal for Their Futures Matter, a NSW reform body aiming for a whole-of-government approach to better outcomes.

Churches Housing is working with TFM to emphasise the crucial importance of safe, secure housing for families at risk.

Executive director Gary Groves is driving the reform in various departments: Education, Family and Community Services, Ministry of Health, Justice, Premier and Cabinet and Treasury.

Groves and his team are also working with peak bodies, such as Churches Housing, and service providers to provide a better co-ordinated solution for families.

Photo: Gary Groves, executive director, and Than O’Brien, director, Their Futures Matter

Housing actions coming to your area soon

06 pic housing action RydeWith the stroke of a pen, hundreds of affordable, secure dwellings could be built across Sydney.
We’re inviting you to participate in local assemblies across Sydney to win on affordable housing.
These assemblies and forums are being hosted by Sydney Alliance and Vinnies NSW.
Before the next State election, two things are needed:
1. NSW MPs commit to enabling policy on affordable and secure housing
2. Councils commit to actually building affordable housing.
The first assembly is planned: Come to the first one to see how it is done!
Right to Home Community Forum
Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club, 7pm-8.30pm, Monday 24 September 2018
Decision makers: NSW MP Victor Dominello and Ryde Mayor, Jerome Laxale

Penrith spoke – now it’s Parramatta’s turn!

In mid-September, Churches Housing – as part of the Sydney Alliance – will be partnering with Macquarie University’s Department of Sociology to survey the Parramatta LGA on housing affordability. Up to 25 students will be trained as interviewers for both the pilot and main survey projects.
Students will use the survey’s results in their studies and these results will also provide further evidence of the need for affordable housing in Sydney.
Professor Justine Lloyd, who is heading the university team, is excited about the project and expects it to be a terrific experience for her students.
The questions from the Penrith survey will be re-used and then the results will be analysed by Churches Housing. As with the Penrith survey, the survey will be done using mobile phones and iPads which connect to Churches Housing’s purpose-built online survey system.
The pilot is scheduled for Friday, 14 September.