Sent via email
12 October 2021
Dear Premier Perrottet,
Open Letter from Western Sydney organisations urging the extension of ‘WestInvest’ to social and affordable housing
Congratulations on your appointment as Premier of New South Wales. We look forward to working with you to help to end homelessness.
We represent the organisations in Western Sydney who work with people at risk of and experiencing homelessness, including women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people and families. During the COVID-19 lockdown we have been overwhelmed with requests for support, and often from individuals and families who have never sought help before.
We commend the recognition of the need in Western Sydney via the WestInvest announcement to rebuild the quality of life and inject jobs into the community, at the same time we urge you to hear us, and the people we have worked alongside for the past long months of lockdown.
The sacrifice from the community has been immense. So too have the impacts – some of which are hidden, and many are long lasting. Savings whittled down to nothing, parents skipping meals to ensure kids are fed, stress placing immense pressure on relationships and wellbeing.
And what has been highlighted during the lockdown is the essential need for all Western Sydney residents to have access to a safe, affordable and appropriate home. For ‘WestInvest’ to succeed and truly make a difference in Western Sydney, it must be expanded to include investment in social and affordable housing.
Investment in social and affordable housing will not only providing much needed housing for the community, but it would also stimulate the economy, grow jobs, support small and medium size businesses and respond to the most vulnerable in Western Sydney.
Investing in social and affordable housing ticks all the boxes. The solutions have already been laid out. Existing analysis and expertise has been captured.
There is a moral, economic and health imperative for NSW to act now. The projects are ‘shovel ready’ and they can ensure safe and secure housing for families in need, and economic and health security for us all.
As such, we call on the Perrottet Government to:
- Acquire existing social and affordable housing stock to meet the immediate need in the community, including the public health needs of COVID-19
- Commit an additional $500 million to repair existing social housing stock
- Deliver at least 5,000 additional social housing dwellings per year for the next 10 years.
- Reduce all types of homelessness by committing to a fully funded state-wide action plan, with the goal of ending homelessness in NSW by 2030.