Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF) welcome the investment in supporting people to have a home. This budget commits $812 million for social and affordable housing and will deliver more than 1,200 new dwellings, and upgrade over 8,000 more. Home buyers may be given a choice on whether to opt-out of paying stamp duty, and instead pay an annual property tax. The Together Home initiative has been extended for two years and additional funds are provided to deliver stable housing and wrap-around support for people experiencing homelessness. These are very welcome commitments that consider the spectrum of housing priorities. But how far does this commitment go towards addressing the fundamental need for housing? WSCF's work on the Home in Western Sydney report is clear that almost 6,500 dwellings are needed per year to meet the forecast demand for social and affordable housing by 2036, in Western Sydney alone. Within this context, the additional investment continues to be a very small step towards accelerating equitable access to housing in Western Sydney, or beyond, which is fundamental to recovery.
“Economies thrive only when communities do. While there are certainly elements within the budget that begin to address some of the key challenges facing Western Sydney and NSW, inequities persist. Greater Western Sydney represents half the population of Sydney. We are a diverse community of people with creative ideas, complex cultural knowledges and a set of ethics and values that I did not see reflected in the budget.” says Billie Sankovic, Western Sydney Community Forum's Chief Executive.