Western Sydney residents stressed by cost of housing

HOUSING stress in western Sydney is almost the highest in Australia.

The national campaign manager for Australians for Affordable Housing, Joel Pringle, told ABC radio on August 15 that households paying more than 30 per cent of their budgets on housing were usually forced to cut spending on food and medicine.

Mr Pringle also said census data indicated that of the top 20 electorates with such housing stress, 11 were in western Sydney.

He said this was largely because new housing development and infrastructure had not kept pace with western Sydney’s population growth.

Mr Pringle also asked why candidates in this year’s federal election had not talked more about housing.

Lindsay federal Labor MP David Bradbury told the Star the government was committed to improving public housing.

‘‘While public housing is a state government responsibility, we recognise that housing affordability is an important issue for many people,’’ Mr Bradbury said.

‘‘Through social housing initiatives federal Labor has already invested around $75 million in our community for the construction of nearly 400 new homes and repair and refurbishment of more than 1000 others.’’

He said 10 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme would be rented to low and middle income tenants at 20 per cent below the market rate.

‘‘This is in addition to 410 new affordable homes funded under the scheme, of which 170 are already tenanted or available for rent,’’ Mr Bradbury said.

‘‘Since coming to office federal Labor has invested a record $31 billion in an affordable housing agenda.’’

The Star contacted Lindsay Liberal candidate Fiona Scott for comment on housing affordability but got no response.

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