Illawarra and Shoalhaven residents who need social housing are waiting longer than people in all but one area of NSW, according to new figures released by the NSW Government.
The total number of people on the Illawarra's social housing wait list has barely budged in a year, but the priority list for those most in need has grown by more than 20 per cent.
New figures, which will now be updated monthly instead of annually as the new Labor Government tries to give clearer picture of the social housing crisis, show there were 2845 people waiting for social housing between Helensburgh and Kiama at June 30, 2023.
This is six fewer people than figures from June 2022, but the priority list for the region has 52 more people on it.
The data also shows the Illawarra's median waiting time is almost double the stage average, with social housing applicants on the general list waiting a median of around three years and three months in the region.
In comparison, across NSW, those on the general list wait an average of one year and 10 months before being allocated a home.
Only one region - Northern NSW - has a higher median wait time than the Illawarra Shoalhaven, where people wait an average of 4.5 years for a home.
State data also lists an "expected wait time" for people on the list, which is "between five and 10 years" for all categories of housing in the Illawarra.
The region's median wait time for priority applicants is also among the worst, with people desperate for housing waiting a month and a half longer than the average across the state.
The priority applicant median wait time of 4.5 months for the Illawarra Shoalhaven is the fourth highest in the state, behind Southern Sydney, Sydney and Northern NSW.
Labor's Housing Minister Rose Jackson said providing more updated data would give a better understanding of the demand for social housing.
"This is part of our commitment to transparency and being open with the community about the problems with the current social housing system," she said.
"This is the harsh reality of our housing crisis.
"Everyday thousands of vulnerable people wait for the day they have a secure roof over their head. The only way we're going to get them off the housing waitlist is by getting people into homes."