As Housing NSW waiting lists blow out to more than 10 years in the Illawarra, at least five social housing properties around Wollongong are currently up for auction.
According to Housing NSW, part of the Family and Community Services department, 52 of the Illawarra’s 9413 social housing properties currently sit vacant due to maintenance and repair issues.
Of those 52, three in Maynes Parade, Unanderra, and two in Essex Street, Berkeley, will be sold at auction on October 19.
A spokesperson for the Land and Housing Corporation said these properties “no longer meet the needs for public housing,” and “have been vacant …between five and 10 months”.
Opposition housing spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis said the state government had cut the housing supply, which added ‘‘more pressure and further burden to the situation”.
“Providing housing is a key state government responsibility, and they are neglecting their duties.”
Figures recently released by the NSW government revealed 3320 people currently on social housing waiting lists in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, with expected waiting times for housing placement more than 10 years in many cases.
The property at 50 Maynes Parade is a three-bedroom house situated on a large, 784-square-metre block, according to a listing on the Elders Wollongong website.
The other four properties are two-bedroom homes, also on large parcels of land.
An Essex Street resident told the Mercury that No30 had been empty since its last tenant, an elderly woman, had passed away in February, while No25 had been vacant since last November.
The Land and Housing spokesperson said social housing properties may be sold because their bedroom category and configuration no longer suit.
Questions about why these five properties specifically were up for sale were submitted, but the Family and Community Services department did not respond by press time.
“An Auditor-General report projects [the NSW government] will dispose of more housing than they will build in the next four years,” Ms Cotsis said.