The NSW government has stepped in with a financial package to mitigate the impact of surging rents in the private market on the community housing providers (CHPs).
The state government announced that it will provide a $7.5 million funding boost to community housing providers (CHPs) or those who provide rental housing to tenants who earn low to moderate incomes.
The funding boost is in addition to the $86 million that community housing providers receive each year to fund leasing subsidies, which is part of the Community Housing Leasing Program. Since its launch in 2000, the scheme has helped thousands of people in need of accommodation by providing private rental housing.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones noted that the new financial boost would lend a hand to providers dealing with increases in rent and rental property shortages in the private market.
For perspective, CoreLogic’s Quarterly Rental Review for the second quarter of 2022 showed that the national rental index increased by 0.9 per cent in June and 2.9 per cent in May.
In Sydney alone, data showed dwelling rents rose 3.9 per cent over the latest three-month period, bringing the average weekly rent in the city to $643.
Emphasising the lack of rental supply in the state, the latest data from Domain also showed that the harbour city’s vacancy rate stood at 1.4 per cent in June — its lowest level since the digital property portal’s records began.
Ms Maclaren-Jones explained that the state government was well aware of the rising financial pressures that its constituents are facing.
“We know the pandemic, floods and bushfires brought on cost of living pressures. That’s why this money is important, it makes a real difference and means that social housing tenants can continue to be accommodated in a challenging rental market,” Ms Maclaren-Jones said.
Regions set to benefit from the fresh funding boost include the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, southern NSW, North Coast, Illawarra Shoalhaven, New England, western NSW, and Murrumbidgee.
The state official estimated that the financial relief will help retain 650 rental properties (including 500 in regional NSW), as it will ensure that providers can continue to allow access to stable accommodation for those who are in need.
Currently, more than 5,900 leases are managed by these providers. An additional 1,750 properties are rented out by CHPs to deliver short-term crisis and transitional housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole echoed Ms Maclaren-Jones’ comments on the funding boost, noting that the financial boost to CHPs will help ensure that tenants in around 500 properties across regional and rural NSW will be able to retain their current living set-up.
“This will help keep communities together and make sure vulnerable people have a roof over their heads,” he stated.