So, now they get it

Housing provider suggests ‘rent to buy’ scheme to help solve housing crisis


Central Coast based housing group Pacific Link says private sector investment is key to tackling the Hunter’s chronic housing affordability crisis.

The group has made 14 recommendations in its submission to the New South Wales Government’s social housing discussion paper.

Pacific Link CEO Keith Gavin said people now wait more than 10 years for social housing in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.

He said transition programs, such as ‘rent to buy’ or shared equity schemes, could be key to reducing that.

“(Our focus is) using private funding to source new housing to meet the future population growth of the Hunter,” he said.

“So we’re not looking just to build new social housing, what we’re looking is for transitional models.

“We have people in need in social housing, working with them in ‘wrap around’ services and skills programs, and then supporting their advancement through that with affordable housing options.”

Pacific Link said the transition programs will mean people living in social housing in the Hunter will have the opportunity to move into other accommodation.

Mr Gavin said his organisation has looked at British and American examples.

“And those types of collaborative approaches to new models do work,” he said.

“They bring new housing stock in, and with new housing stock of course comes economic stimulus and spending.

“Then there’s opportunities for people who may be in social housing now to move into their own houses, and they’re not fighting rental availabilities, and things like that, which is getting tougher for everybody.”