Jenny Leong calls for massive investment in social housing in NSW

Jenny Leong MP, Greens Member for Newtown has called out the government for ignoring the housing crisis in NSW, and refusing to invest in social housing in any meaningful way.



Ms JENNY LEONG: They are demolishing family homes in the electorate of Balmain, and I heard the member for Maroubra talk about it the other day. They are demolishing good family homes that are currently public housing and replacing them with one-bedroom studio apartments, high-rise apartments and high-density apartments, without community support. Where do all the families on the public housing waiting list go? It is unclear to me, but they are clearly unable to return to live in the electorate of Newtown. The Government is demolishing all of the good quality townhouses and public housing under the guise of the Communities Plus model. It is about delivering "plus" profits for developers, "plus" profits for investors and nothing for the communities that need them. We are also seeing segregation by income in some of those properties. The private dwellings will be in one building and the housos will be in another building. This is a disgusting model of income segregation. It is entrenching disadvantage and discrimination against people in our city who are poor, based on the Government's attempt to invest in social housing.

We need real investment in social and affordable housing. We need a genuine commitment to the idea of investing funds, not some profit-driven motive that will see a cost-neutral return, no money spent in the long term and the privatisation of public land along the way. We need to see a genuine recognition of real investment. I acknowledge that the people on the front line of services, like Vinnies, see the crisis every day. I will not be satisfied with the spin from any Minister in this place who attempts to talk up some new model that says we should build more overdeveloped and high-density public housing—in our electorate or across this State—as a way to solve the housing crisis. We know full well that we need new housing to solve this problem, not the demolition and destruction of existing public housing. That is the solution.

Finally, every member in this place knows that there are people that are desperate who are currently on the high-priority waiting list for housing in New South Wales. I do not know about other members, but there are people in my electorate who have been on the high-priority list for two years, three years or six months. If someone is in crisis then no-one would think that waiting for housing for six months, two years or three years is being treated as high priority. It is a failure of this Government to deliver. If we are in this place to do one thing then surely it should be to deliver safe, affordable, habitable and secure homes for the people of New South Wales.

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