THE demand for social and affordable housing is increasing in regional areas due to migration and pressure on the private rental market, according to the head of a not-for-profit provider.
Argyle Housing chief executive Carolyn Doherty said higher property prices and lack of supply were also compounding the problem.
"People that previously were able to afford a home in the private market are either being pushed out of housing or placed under serious housing stress, paying more than 50 per cent of their total household income in rent," Ms Doherty said.
"As private market housing becomes more and more expensive, greater numbers of households are being pushed towards social housing purely for financial reasons.
"This of course becomes a greater barrier to people leaving community housing."
On top of those pressures are personal challenges also causing residents to seek community housing.
Ms Doherty said there can often be a range of complex issues in the household which present as a barrier in residents securing private housing.
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"There's a range of other complex reasons, disabilities, substance use disorders, age, limited income, family violence and of course, a lack of stable affordable rental accommodation," she said.
"Residents of community housing may stay in short or long term accommodation depending upon the type of program that they are housed under," she said.
"Some programs are time-limited with a goal that they will be supported to find alternative long term housing at the end of the program.
"The vast majority of social housing tenants are housed long term, and even if the property that they are living in is no longer available, Argyle Housing will in most circumstances, relocate them to another home."
Ms Doherty said investments in housing is the responsibility of all levels of government and Argyle Housing has had significant support in Wagga for making changes to housing supply and investing in new opportunities targeted towards specific areas of need, such as rough sleepers and young people.
"In the past two years the Department of Communities and Justice has funded an additional 24 social housing opportunities for people sleeping rough in the Murrumbidgee Region," Ms Doherty said.
"These people have been intensively supported over a 24 month period to transition into stable and secure housing.
"A further 33 tenancies were funded in 2021 for 16-24-year-olds to exit supported accommodation. This was accomplished through working with Argyle Housing and local support services to achieve long term accommodation."
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Now working for The Daily Advertiser, Taylor has more than three years of experience working as a Journalist for Australian Community Media covering an array of topics. Connect with her at email@example.com.
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