Almost 1200 people are on the waitlist for social housing in Newcastle, with wait times of 5 to 10 years for more property types.
2018 Family and Community Services (FACS) data correlates with a surge in locals seeking assistance through the office of State MP Tim Crakanthorp who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness or have an issue with their social housing property.
The office now receives enquiries on an almost daily basis.
In addition, the latest census information shows a 12.6 per cent increase in homelessness in Newcastle since 2011.
The Expected Waiting Times data from FACS shows that there are 1190 people waiting for housing within the Newcastle Allocation Zone. 52 people are considered priority. The expected waiting time for a 2 or 3 bedroom property is 5 to 10 years, while those in need of a 4 bedroom property can expect to wait for more than 10 years.
Despite the obvious need, more than $15 million worth of social housing has been sold off in Newcastle by the Liberal-National Government in the last four years in suburbs including Stockton and Bar Beach.
While the NSW Government has spent eight long years flogging off anything that isn’t nailed down, Newcastle families are languishing in housing insecurity.
Quotes attributable to Ryan Park MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness
“Despite big promises to halve homelessness by 2025, the Government is failing to address the lack of social housing in regional communities”.
“The Newcastle region has nearly 1200 applications waiting to be accommodated in social housing. We need investment into social housing to address the homelessness crisis in our state”.
“The current housing situation has led to a situation where the only option from many individuals is to sleep rough, in cars, or couchsurf”.
Quotes attributable to Tim Crakanthorp MP, Member for Newcastle
“The Government likes to say they are investing in social housing stock, but the numbers in Newcastle don’t lie.
“On an almost daily basis my office is contacted by people who are experiencing problems with secure housing, ranging from couchsurfers to those living in poor conditions, to people without a roof over their head at all.
“Everyone is entitled to the safety having a home provides. 1200 people waiting for up to 10 years for this basic security is an absolute disgrace.”