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.
As a member of the committee conducting the inquiry into the protocol for homeless people in public places, Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown has commented on the report as it was delivered.Read more
Jenny Leong, The Greens Member for Newtown has asked the NSW Premier to justify the Liberal Governments refusal to conduct pest control to address large scale rat and cockroach infestations in properties leased as public housing.Read more
Local residents and community members in Eveleigh unanimously rejected the NSW Government's plan to redevelop the Explorer Street public housing estate at a community online meeting led by Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and Greens NSW spokesperson on Housing. The meeting opposed the plan to use this site to create a large number of high density private dwellings with a small increase in public housing and affordable dwellings.
The following resolution was passed on Dec 8, 2020:
This meeting of residents expresses its opposition to the proposed demolition and rebuilding of the social housing units at Explorer Street in Eveleigh.
We believe public land should be used exclusively for social and affordable housing. These projects won’t address the social housing shortage in the inner city, they are out of keeping with the low-rise character of Eveleigh and they will displace residents for years.
We call on the NSW Government to:
- Abandon their proposal to knock-down and rebuild this estate.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to fund a significant increase in social housing construction in NSW and significant maintenance works to ensure every home is in good, liveable condition.
This year’s budget was an opportunity for the NSW government to deliver major investment in social and affordable housing to address the urgent need for homes that people can afford especially at this time as we face the social and economic impacts of Covid in the coming year.
Unfortunately the Treasurer has not delivered any significant funds, plans or strategies to deal with the growing crisis in housing in NSW. This is in stark contrast to the $5.2b that the Victorian government committed to spend on the development of some 12,000 public housing dwellings in the next 4 years.
There is $110m this year to provide upgrades and maintenance to social housing properties, including properties managed by Community Housing Providers and this figure includes funds to provide jobs for this work.
This is important funding as it’s vital to address the chronic neglect of maintenance in the government’s social housing stock. However this funding does not address the urgent need to build and develop many more dwellings that people can afford to live in during 2020-2021.
The allocation of $182.9 million for the construction and acceleration of new social housing properties across NSW by the Land and Housing Corporation and the claim that this will result in an addition 1300 new social housing dwellings, is not adequate.
This will not produce homes for the more than 100,000 people on the social housing waiting list now or the many more who will need social housing as the economic situation worsens in the next 12 months as a result of Covid.
Just $17.3m has been allocated to funding Aboriginal housing for only 53 new homes in regional and metro locations. Included in this allocation is support for Aboriginal employment in the construction and trade industry.
The lack of social and affordable Aboriginal housing is severe and will not be solved by this small funding package.
$14.4 million has been allocated to support the Aboriginal Community Housing (ACHP) sector to undertake maintenance, roof restoration/replacements, air conditioning and solar power installation, and construct granny flats and extensions to improve living conditions for Aboriginal people in NSW.
Compared to the $100m allocation for sports infrastructure in NSW, these budget allocations are shamefully inadequate in addressing the urgent housing needs of Aboriginal people in NSW.
The support for homelessness services in this budget is welcome. The $291.8 million to deliver a range of specialist homelessness services across New South Wales is crucially important given the predicted rise in those experiencing homelessness as a result of the impacts of the pandemic and is testament to the positive work done by peak homelessness and housing bodies throughout the pandemic.
For those hoping to buy a home, the Treasurer’s statements on a potential transition away from the current transfer duty and land tax system should mean that purchasing a home is more affordable for first home buyers into the future.
The NSW Government has announced plans to redevelop and expand the social housing dwellings on Explorer Street and Aurora Place in South Eveleigh.
Jenny Leong MP issued a media release regarding this announcement and commented,
"As the impact of the pandemic is growing daily, we need to ask why the NSW Liberal National government is still selling us all short by planning to privatise 70% of these redevelopments which are on valuable public land.
We are holding a community meeting on Tuesday 8th December from 6pm - 7pm
We are keen to hear your thoughts on this proposal and to share our concerns about the planned redevelopment.
Register here to attend this Zoom community meeting.
Details of this proposal and links to the Land and Housing Corporation information webinars as well as feedback options can be found here.
We have been informed by the Land and Housing Corporation that:
- the planning process will take some two years, after which residents will be given at least 6 months notice of any requirements to relocate temporarily.
- that all current residents will have the right to return to live on this site in the proposed redeveloped dwellings.
Our post Covid economic recovery should include large scale investment in social and affordable housing. NSW can fast track building infrastructure that will provide a buffer to the most disadvantaged in the post Covid economic and social downturn by building and renovating homes that people can afford.
A state led affordable housing boost will support the construction industry by building urgently needed social and affordable housing, not fast-tracking private developer projects with no positive community outcomes.
Social and affordable housing should be funded as urgent infrastructure with government investment providing a safeguard against increasing social disadvantage.
We believe that the following initiatives will ensure that housing is affordable, sustainable and available to those who need it and are most impacted by the economic downturn facing us all.
- Large scale investment in building social and affordable housing including 30,000 social homes per year for 10 years
- 100% social and affordable housing on public land - reject Communities Plus housing formula and audit all available state land and properties
- No sell off of public land or public housing
- Councils to be funded to fast track Local Housing Strategies and Affordable Housing Policies to prioritise and maximise affordable housing
- Mandate 30% affordable housing on private housing developments
- End no grounds evictions and provide post Covid rent relief funding and continued moratorium on evictions with no arrears debt.
- Housing First approach to homelessness with no limit on temporary accommodation and increase in funding for specialist services and support.
- Zero emissions housing and retrofitting of existing housing
- Reform private student accommodation and build-to-rent planning instruments
NSW has a large social and affordable housing deficit with a 10 year waiting list for social housing.
The recent Equity Economics report commissioned by NCOSS, “A Wave of Disadvantage across NSW: Impact of the Covid-19 Recession” offers some extremely concerning statistics including a 24% increase in families experiencing housing stress and the same increase statewide in individuals experiencing homelessness with some regions in the state experiencing a 40% increase.
The Anglicare Rental Affordability Update from August this year indicated that ‘renters are on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic.’ The findings show that a person who is unemployed can only afford 1% percent of rentals – and that’s with the increased Job Seeker payments. With Job Seeker reduced, affordable rental availability will plummet with only 13 rental listings out of 77,000 being affordable.
Everybody’s Home is calling for 500,000 social and affordable homes nationally by 2026 and 5,000 social homes per year for 10 years in NSW.
The government’s announcement of two social housing redevelopments in Glebe and Eveleigh are designed to open up valuable public land to private development rather than to maximize the development of new social and affordable housing says NSW Greens MPs, Jenny Leong and Jamie Parker.
Greens Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP has today called on the NSW Government to support Aboriginal specific affordable housing in Redfern and Waterloo.
The Redfern Waterloo Alliance launched their campaign today seeking action from the NSW government on the provision of and clear targets for Aboriginal affordable housing in the Redfern Waterloo area. Greens Member for Newtown and Housing and Homelessness spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP, and Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens spokesperson on Housing, welcomed the launch – and offered their commitment to the demands of the campaign.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing and Homelessness says,
“I fully support this important campaign calling for real action and the delivery of affordable housing for Aboriginal people living in the Redfern and Waterloo area.
“Redfern and Waterloo sit on Gadigal land, it is land that was never ceded – and it is long overdue that the NSW Government gave priority to ensuring that Aboriginal housing sits at the heart of our inner city community – we will be doing everything we can to ensure this campaign succeeds.”
Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens spokesperson on Housing says,
“Aboriginal communities have longstanding roots in Redfern and Waterloo, and the right to self-determination. It is critical that Aboriginal people and their organisations lead efforts to improve and expand housing in these communities.
“For too long, social housing that meets the needs of communities simply hasn’t been sufficiently provided. It’s time to change that.
“The Greens give our full and enthusiastic support to the Redfern Waterloo Alliance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Allies for this important campaign,” she said.