It also said older women were the fastest-growing cohort experiencing homelessness: “This is often as a result of DFV [domestic and family violence], pay inequity, little to no superannuation or savings, divorce, and time taken as unpaid carers.”
Local Government NSW, the peak body for councils, has called on the state to introduce minimum targets of 5 to 10 per cent social and affordable housing across NSW, and 25 per cent for government-owned land which is developed.
It has also urged the state and federal governments to urgently invest in crisis accommodation, including for women and youth, across under-served areas of NSW.
In a submission to the inquiry, the NSW government acknowledged that housing pressures were increasing the number of people at risk of homelessness and in need of housing assistance, intensifying disadvantage.
It cited a 29 per cent surge in priority applicant households on the social housing register over the past two years. “There are particular issues of affordability in regional NSW, exacerbated by the COVID-related move of people out of Sydney into regions,” it said.
The government released a long-term housing strategy in May, which included “near-term actions” to deliver better housing across the spectrum from crisis accommodation to social and affordable houses and home ownership.