The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is calling on the State Government to take action for the thousands of people that are in need of a home.
This comes as the latest government figures show that the social housing waitlist in Penrith has grown to almost 1,700 applicants.
St Vincent de Paul Society Parramatta Social Justice Representative Caterina Tribbia, who is a part of the St Marys conference, said lack of housing is a big issue in the area.
“In Penrith there are currently 1,679 applicants with 179 listed as priority housing with a wait of five to 10 years and even longer for families needing a three-bedroom home,” she said.
“It is not just people who don’t work but immigrants, single parents, people with disabilities or mental health issues and those whose partner might have passed on and they can no longer afford private rent.”
Ms Tribbia said St Vinnies wants the Government to build 5,000 new homes each year across NSW for the next 10 years, to address the social housing issue.
“The Government needs to invest in more housing and St Vincent is happy to help provide wraparound services which will have flow-on benefits to the whole community, such as less strain on the health and criminal system,” she said.
“They need to have a strong emphasis on a modern approach to social housing with no huge complexes, but well-maintained homes sprinkled throughout the community to avoid problems.”
A NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) spokesperson said it’s aware of people wanting more social housing built in the Penrith Local Government Area and around NSW and has projects underway.
“We are working strategically to identify local demand for suitable homes and recycle ageing, outdated properties to build more new homes, which meet the needs of tenants,” the spokesperson said.
“The NSW LAHC currently has 50 housing projects in various stages of delivery in the Local Government Areas of Penrith, Blacktown, Cumberland and the Hawkesbury and nine of these projects are in the Penrith LGA.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers general news and politics for the Weekender.