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That was how Housing Plus chief executive officer David Fisher described a $7.5 million announcement on Friday afternoon that will help social housing tenants remain in properties in the private rental market.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones and Bathurst MP and Deputy Premier Paul Toole were at the Housing Plus offices in Kelso for the announcement of the $7.5m boost to the Community Housing Leasing Program.
The program provides funding to community housing providers to lease properties from the private rental market to provide social housing.
Housing Plus is one of those providers and Mr Fisher said the $7.5m boost would make a difference as rents in the private market rise.
"Housing Plus provides 164 properties under the Community Housing Leasing Program and today's announcement will allow us to continue to provide that despite the higher rent that the areas and communities are suffering," he said.
Mr Toole and Ms Maclaren-Jones said the $7.5m boost would ensure tenants in 500 properties across regional and rural NSW would be able to remain in their homes.
They said the funding boost was in addition to the $86m that community housing providers receive each year from the NSW Government to fund leasing subsidies.
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Mr Fisher said the need for housing in regional areas was enormous and "it's growing by the day".
He said the average rent increase across regional NSW over the past 12 months had been around 30 per cent "and I think the government has recognised that it's increasingly difficult for housing providers to lease properties in that kind of market".
"So, today's announcement is really helpful," he said.
"I think it shows the government is listening, recognising that the market's difficult."
But he warned that many people remained on the waiting list for affordable housing.
"And it's not solved with one policy," he said. "It's a multitude of policies that's needed."
Mr Fisher said on Friday afternoon that Housing Plus is on track this year to complete that commitment of 280 new homes, which he said would be a great addition to communities including Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow, Cowra, Dubbo and Mudgee.
"We're really delighted to see that program come to an end," he said. "And they're all fully occupied and our new customers are delighted with them.
"We're also looking for more opportunities to find more houses.
"There's more need across regional NSW and we're constantly looking for opportunities to provide more housing to meet that need."
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