Social Futures Response to NSW State Budget

Written byAmanda Shoebridge
Published on19 Jun, 2024
Image shows a jar of coins with the word BUDGET written on it.

Social Futures welcomes the State governments much needed $5.1 billion investment in social housing supply, along with the $527 million dollar commitment to alleviate homelessness but wants to see regional areas receive their fair share of the housing pie.  

Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies, said he is encouraged to see a notable increase in delivery of social homes from that in the previous budget, the aim now to deliver 8,400 social homes in the coming four years – a net increase of 6,200 homes. 

“NSW has been plagued by a dearth of housing for decades, so to see significant investment in social housing is very welcome. But we are waiting for details of where these housing funds will be funnelled and want to ensure regional areas are not forgotten.”  

The most recent figures we have reveal surging homelessness in the regions – Byron Bay now hosts the largest number of street sleepers in NSW – while numbers in metropolitan areas stabilised.  

“Regional areas must receive their fair share of this funding. The delivery of safe, secure and affordable housing for those desperately in need simply cannot come fast enough.”  

With close to 60,000 households on the waitlist for social housing and more than 9,000 people homeless Mr Davies said the creation of 8,400 homes, though impressive, will not resolve this scenario.  

“While we know this is only a fraction of what’s needed, this substantial investment certainly signals a step in the right direction in addressing the housing emergency.  

“It is heartening to see that women leaving domestic violence situations will be prioritised with half of the 8,400 new social housing dwellings set aside for this cohort. Again, with more than 18,000 people citing domestic violence as a reason for homelessness, this investment falls short of what’s needed.  

“In addition to safe housing it is imperative that appropriate funding for wrap around support services is provided for our most vulnerable, including victim-survivors of domestic violence and people facing homelessness.   

Davies said more needs to be done to address the current cost of living crisis and rising income inequality across the state. 

“We urge for continued focus on increasing supports for low-income people, families and those doing it tough. 

Further support for frontline services and infrastructure remains critical along with investments in community mental health services.  

“Social Futures will continue to advocate on behalf of our communities, and we commit to ongoing work alongside the State Government to ensure we connect people to the support they need, when they need it.”