The NSW coalition government’s refusal to provide a response to the parliamentary inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing until after the NSW election is a disgrace.
The Select Committee inquiry that was established by the Greens delivered its final report last September. The Baird government had almost six months to consider the report and provide its response. Instead of responding a week before the due date, they’ve waited until the last minute to announce they’ll hide behind the caretaker provisions.
The inquiry’s 41 recommendations, most of which were unanimously supported by the committee, were welcomed by housing advocacy and social service organisations as a blueprint for the desperately needed action to address the housing crisis in NSW.
Instead of delivering a response and a plan for affordable and social housing, the Baird government have spent the past six months consulting on a discussion paper that ignored all of the available evidence and took us all back to square one.
It looks like they intend to wait until the election is done before carrying on with their unsustainable sell-off of public housing and underinvestment in delivering the affordable and social housing we need, throughout Sydney and across the state.
Any that wouldn’t set out how they would boost the availability of appropriate social and affordable housing was dodging one of the key issues for NSW.
The Greens have set out our economic plan that would deliver $4.5 billion in funding for social and affordable housing. We would see government bonds used to drive rapid investment to increase the housing available to people on low and moderate incomes, in the inner city, the suburbs and regional centres.
The Greens want to see the recommendations of the Select Committee implemented by whoever forms government after 28 March.
We moved to establish this inquiry because housing affordability and the social housing system were deteriorating after successive governments had failed to deliver the funding, the policy settings and the whole of government commitment that was required.
We need a housing system that gives priority to helping people to afford a secure, appropriately-located and configured place they can call home.
Without adequate housing, people and families are deprived of the opportunities for work, education and social support that are essential to their well being.
By punting the issue a few more months down the road, the coalition has neglected its responsibility to care for the people of NSW.
Select Committee recommendations and final report: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/12B4DA4578015782CA257D4D00120FFE
The Greens’ submission on the Government’s social housing discussion paper: http://www.janbarham.org.au/2015/02/submission-on-the-nsw-governments-social-housing-discussion-paper/
Comments on the Parliamentary Inquiry and the Government’s discussion paper: http://www.janbarham.org.au/2015/02/social-housing-consultation-ignores-evidence-genuine-solutions/
Jan Barham MLC, Greens housing spokesperson