More crisis accommodation and clear targets essential to addressing homelessness

In a submission to the NSW Government’s discussion paper on homelessness, Foundations for Change, PIAC has called for more crisis accommodation, more social and affordable housing and the development of specific, measurable targets to address homelessness.

‘The NSW Government’s Homelessness Strategy is a rare opportunity to address rising rates of homelessness,’ said Lou Schetzer, PIAC’s Senior Policy Officer on homelessness.

Rough sleeping the inner city have been increasing for several years. It’s vital that we urgently increase the availability of social and affordable housing, as well as crisis accommodation.

And to ensure accountability, public reporting against measurable targets should be an essential part of the homelessness strategy,’ said Lou Schetzer.

PIAC also recommended that the Government commit resources to the implementation of the Protocol for Homeless people in Public Places. The Protocol is a guideline for NSW law enforcement agencies to ensure appropriate responses to people who are homeless so they can access necessary support services, and to minimise inappropriate policing practices.

In the submission, PIAC drew upon the casework experience of its Homeless Persons’ Legal Service and identified some of the specific challenges faced by groups that are particularly vulnerable and at risk of homelessness, including women, people experiencing chronic homelessness and rough sleeping, individuals living with mental illness, and people who have recently left prison.

You can read PIAC’s submission, which includes 20 recommendations, in the publications section of this website.

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