Sydney housing crisis puts essential services under pressure as workers leave city

There are calls for more subsidised housing for Sydney’s essential workers after a report found the city was losing workers because of the housing affordability crisis.

The Key Worker Housing Affordability study by the University of Sydney found Australia’s largest city had lost close to 20 per cent of its key workers — including emergency workers, teachers and nurses — between 2006 and 2016.

The study found it took an average 13 years for a key worker to save for a home deposit in inner Sydney.

The closest centre considered affordable for an entry-level nurse was Cessnock, more than 150 kilometres from Sydney in the Hunter region.

The areas with the biggest influx of essential workers due to the mass exodus were the Hunter Valley, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

Police Bank, which co-commissioned the research, said young nurses were travelling from Cessnock to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, and many police officers commuted to Parramatta from Wollongong.

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