Protection from social housing cut

NORTHERN Rivers Social Development Council has joined calls to ensure that funding for social housing is not cut as part of any wind-back of stimulus funding.

NRSDC CEO Tony Davies said stimulus funding for social housing has already been cut once and key community groups, including the Australian Council for Social Service, National Shelter and the ACTU, are concerned that further cuts to funding for social housing may be made in response to improving economic conditions.

He said NRSDC has joined the call to ensure funding for social housing is protected from any stimulus withdrawal.

“We are pleased that the economy is in recovery, but the housing affordability crisis remains. There is an acute shortage of affordable accommodation across the region,” Mr Davies said.

“Rents in Northern Rivers are the highest in the state, outside Sydney. Vacancy rates are low. Many families on low incomes they are feeling the squeeze.

“We have very low levels of public housing compared to the rest of the state, meaning that we desperately need the new housing investment promised under the stimulus package.”

According to Mr Davies, investment in public and community housing will provide long-term economic benefits to the community, whether it is considered stimulus spending or not.

“This investment will boost productivity over the longer term to establish a solid asset base and support vulnerable people.”

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