Question Time: social housing
22nd June 2021
Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (15:09): My question is directed to the Minister for Water, Property and Housing. Notwithstanding the budget investments announced today, what further measures will the Government undertake to ensure that those most affected by the housing crisis will not be forced to continue waiting for years for suitable social housing?
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY (Oxley—Minister for Water, Property and Housing) (15:10): I thank the member for Lake Macquarie. I acknowledge that Friday was a great day in the electorate of the member for Lake Macquarie, with Denise and Harry and magnificent scones, jam and cream—amongst the best scones, jam and cream I have ever had. But the reason I raise that is because Harry and Denise were promised sewerage services at Wyee in 1985. But we delivered this week to that community and the growing community of Wyee. Getting that really important infrastructure is about unleashing homes and potential across New South Wales. In a social housing aspect, I am delighted that this is a brilliant budget leading the way in Australia in delivering social and affordable housing to the people of New South Wales—record amounts of funding that are going to transform and change lives. To give you an idea, in the past couple of years New South Wales has delivered $9 billion towards social and affordable housing—
The SPEAKER: I call the member for Prospect to order for the first time.
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: —Queensland, $5 billion; and Victoria, $4 billion.
The SPEAKER: I call the member for Prospect to order for the second time.
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: We are leading the way. The positive part of this is that the really tough policy work that we delivered in partnering up with community housing providers is delivering thousands more properties than what we could have doing it alone. That is a big boost to the number of homes going through New South Wales. In terms of the Lake Macquarie electorate, it can look forward to direct investment in social housing upgrades across the Aboriginal Housing projects in Bolton Point as well as $18.5 million in Hunter Water projects. I knew it was a good budget yesterday when the Treasurer briefed Cabinet. And I realised it was a really good budget when he briefed joint party today. But the point I realised it was a brilliant budget was when I saw the faces opposite when the Treasurer was delivering the budget here today.
Their faces showed that it was a budget of good economic management, supporting infrastructure but also having, at the heart of it, a social aspect for our Aboriginal communities and those who are most vulnerable—whether it is the support to Minister Henskens and the Towards Home project, including $58 million ensuring that those who are most vulnerable, sleeping on the streets, can have a pathway forward into proper accommodation. We will focus on looking after those who are most vulnerable, working with our community and housing providers to ensure that. At this point in time the $2 billion in the national housing infrastructure fund—
The SPEAKER: The member for Shellharbour will remain silent.
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: New South Wales has absorbed 80 per cent of that fund through our community housing providers investing in social and affordable housing, 3,000 new homes over the forward estimates coming from community housing providers.
The SPEAKER: I call the member for Port Stephens to order for the second time.
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: That is a positive way forward to ensure that those community housing providers—
The SPEAKER: I call the member for Port Stephens to order for the third time.
Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: —like St George, like Argyle Housing, like Evolve Housing, are connected to these communities and delivering alongside the Land and Housing Corporation, alongside Minister Henskens, ensuring that we look after the most vulnerable across New South Wales and also partnering with Minister Lee and TAFE with $80 million to build apprenticeships to ensure that we get those homes built. You know what that means? We sent a text out to every social housing tenant and said, "We have got this $80 million fund for TAFE to get tradies ready to build this generation of projects that are coming."
It is a brilliant program. We have had it extended and it is going to deliver the tradies of tomorrow building the homes of tomorrow across the private and government sectors. Last week, with the member for Terrigal, we were there at the beautiful apartment building—17 storeys, 40 new apartments. That means we only have to put in half the number of car spaces because it is right in the centre of Gosford, ensuring that you can travel and walk to the train station, and be right in the centre of town near the coffee shops and all those important pieces of infrastructure. It is a great budget for those who need support with housing. I am proud that we are delivering it. I am proud that we are leading the way.
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