Mission Australia has responded to the release of the NSW Budget, describing it as a missed opportunity for a strong response to homelessness and the housing affordability crisis.

Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans welcomed measures including some new funding for transitional housing to assist people experiencing homelessness, but says much more needs to be done to assist the many NSW households experiencing severe rental stress.

“NSW is in a strong financial position with an unprecedented surplus. This presents a prime opportunity to invest in vital state infrastructure including social and affordable housing,” said Ms Yeomans.

“While the property boom provided the NSW Government with a deep revenue stream, it has also had a profound impact on the many NSW residents who are now experiencing housing stress.

“Billions have been collected in stamp duty from residential property sales. If even a small proportion of that income was channelled directly into social and affordable housing, a safe and secure home could be provided for thousands of families who are struggling to pay the rent and may be at risk of homelessness.

“The funding of transitional accommodation for people who have been homeless is very welcome. However, we need to ensure there is an adequate supply of genuinely affordable housing for everybody who needs it, or we will continue to see more people becoming homeless.

“While NSW can boast a balance sheet that is the “envy of the western world”, we call on the government to make a commitment to meaningful additional investment in affordable housing, to ensure that those people most in need can share in the benefits,” she said.

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