A Hunter MP has called on the NSW government to extend a housing support measure, but a leading community housing provider says it's the federal government that must do more to address the housing crisis.
Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison called on the state government to extend the Temporary Accommodation budget, which provides up to 28 days support per year for people facing homelessness, in response to the rental vacancy rate in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle being the lowest in the state.
Ms Harrison also called on Gladys Berejiklian to urgently include reducing women's homelessness into the Premier's priorities list.
But Compass Housing spokesperson Martin Kennedy believes that while the states have the immediate responsibility for social housing, it was only one part of the issue and a national housing plan was needed.
"It's a continuum - what happens in one part of the housing market affects elsewhere," he said.
"When you hear conversations about housing policy, it tends to miss the middle. It's about support for first home buyers or crisis or emergency. The group in the middle of that don't seem to get a look in. You've got this situation where you've got private rents rising quite sharply. All that's going to happen is the share of people in need of subsidised housing is going to grow."
Mr Kennedy said while the state government was investing record amounts in social housing, and just announced a new housing strategy which includes partnering with community housing providers, supply was falling extremely short.
There are about 3600 households on the waiting list for social housing in the Hunter and waiting times are between five and 10 years. Everybody's Home research shows Australia needs another 500,000 social and affordable homes by 2026.
"The numbers really speak for themselves," Mr Martin said. "It's hard to avoid the conclusion they're not managing it at the moment.
"When you compare the new build targets in state housing plans to the number on waiting lists, it's not going to go anywhere near close to addressing the need.
"It's not a case of states not trying. State governments have a tough gig. They collect very little of the tax in Australia but have the responsibility for the bulk of service provision, including social and affordable housing. I just don't see anyway that it gets addressed without significant investment from the federal government."
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