Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland)—It's a sad fact that an increasing number of people in the Hunter Region are experiencing homelessness. Earlier this month I was pleased to attend the official opening of 65 new social and affordable homes in Thornton by Compass Housing as part of the Government's SAFH program.

The homes were built by Mavid Construction Pty Ltd, between January and October 2020. At the opening, we met a local woman who had been on the public housing list for 17 years finally receiving the keys to her own permanent, safe, accessible home. It was inspiring.

While there is still a massive shortfall and a lengthy waiting list for Maitland people who require housing, this is a step in the right direction. The team from Mavid Construction were rightly proud and honoured to be part of the build, and the quality and thought that has gone into the homes sets a new standard for social housing in our city. This Rutherford company was recently ranked 56th in the Housing Institute of Australia's Top 100.

Congratulations on your workmanship and speedy completion, Mavid, and for your part in helping more Maitland people enjoy the safety and security of a home.