South Australia faces social housing crisis

Andrea Nicolas

South Australia faces social housing crisis

FIRST ON 7: South Australia is facing a public housing crisis, with almost 22,000 people now on the waiting list.

One victim of domestic abuse has told 7News she has had little choice but to accept a property notorious for trouble.

The 42-year-old, who does not want to be identified, has been living in emergency housing with her eight-year-old daughter for 12 months, but is now shifting around the corner.

“I am being forced to take it whether I like it or not,” she said.

“Otherwise me and my daughter are not going to have a house.”

Housing SA first offered her a house at Morphetteville, which she described as ‘shocking’.

“It had graffiti on the side, graffiti all across the road,” the woman told 7News.

“I just looked at my worker and started crying and said ‘Nup, I’m not bringing my daughter up in this’.”

He would-be neighbour does not blame her for turning it down.

“I’ve had two fires set at the front of my porch, I’ve had three smashed windows… the housing trust know, but I’m still here,” she said.

But if the woman had declined a second property in the south western suburbs, Housing SA admits she could have dropped down the waiting list.

“If I didn’t take it, I’d be taken down to Cat 3, the lowest category, not even get looked at for housing,” the woman said.

Her new neighbours have told 7News drug users have been caught shooting up down the side of her unit and in a nearby car park.

Housing SA said it takes safety seriously and offers customers security upgrades to properties.

Of the 22,000 people currently on the waiting list for public housing, Housing SA said they are often staying with relatives, in homeless shelters or in private rental properties.

Despite the shocking gap, it said South Australia has more social housing per capita than any other state – around 50,000 homes.