WHILE Queanbeyan is enjoying strong interest and development in the residential sales market, at the lower end of the scale people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, if they’re fortunate enough to have one at all.
New data from the NSW Department of Community Services shows waiting lists for one-bedroom and four-bedroom properties are more than 10 years, with waits of between five and 10 years for two and three bedroom properties.
More than 400 applicants were on the waiting list for Queanbeyan properties at the end of October last year, and one local church authority working in the field said the situation was ‘‘dire’’ and ‘‘absolutely hopeless’’.
What’s needed, according to Paula Roath of the Karabar Housing Tenants Association, is for federal and state governments to urgently wade in and build low-cost housing in large numbers.
‘‘It’s very competitive at the moment, in terms of there are very few houses, and a very large amount of people sitting on the waiting list,’’ Ms Roath said.
‘‘To the best of my knowledge, nobody has moved on that list – except for people on the priority housing list – for quite a few years.
‘‘I personally was on that list for quite a few years and didn’t move until I hit the priority list. But the only answer is just to get in and build more houses. It’s quite simple.’’
The Australian Government recently announced some 4700 new affordable housing properties would be built in NSW under round four of the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which will eventually inject some $15 billion into public housing across Australia over the next five years. The NSW Government has committed an additional $100 million.
State Housing minister Pru Goward said the funds would create 2600 affordable units for NSW residents.
‘‘In the latest funding round of the Scheme [Round 4], the NSW Government has exceeded the former government’s commitment by providing an additional $100 million to increase the supply of affordable housing in NSW,’’ Ms Goward said.
‘‘The NSW Government’s additional $100thmillion has more than doubled the number of affordable rental homes to be delivered in NSW, delivering an additional 2600 units to assist families in housing stress.
‘‘In total, the Government is contributing over $180 million over 15 years towards the development and funding of 4800 affordable rental dwellings under Round 4 of the Scheme.’