The NSW government is under fire for overseeing a blowout in the public housing waiting list, with almost 2000 more applicants in the queue than last year.
By June this year there were 57,451 public housing applications in the pipeline, the government said on Monday.
That compares with 55,479 at the same time last year.
Opposition housing spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis says the figures come as almost 40 per cent of Western Sydney areas have experienced an increase in waiting times to more than five years and some families in Western Sydney being forced to wait more than 10.
“The explosion in the public housing waiting list is a direct result of the O’Farrell Government’s cuts – and its failure to meet the demand for new housing stock,” she said in a statement.
She said this year’s state budget had $ 22 million ripped from new housing construction and $ 37 million from maintenance.
This meant many existing properties would continue to be plagued by mould, rising damp, peeling paint, blocked drains, rusted gutters, asbestos and leaking, she said.
Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said the waiting list is much shorter than anticipated after the Auditor General warned there would be 64,500 on the waiting list by this time.
“The reforms introduced by this Government are on track to arrest the spiralling growth projected by the Auditor General,” Mrs Goward said.
But she admitted there was still much to be done to “reform the broken social housing system” the government had inherited from Labor.