PIAC’s consumer committee on homelessness, StreetCare, has welcomed Homelessness NSW’s State Election Platform 2018-2019.
StreetCare Project Officer, Maddy Humphreys, said that the platform presented a clear set of priorities to prevent and address homelessness across the state.
‘StreetCare members, all of whom have lived experience of homelessness, overwhelmingly support the initiatives identified by Homelessness NSW,’ said Maddy Humphreys.
‘At the time of the 2016 census, nearly 38 000 people indicated that they were homeless – an increase of 37% from 2011 – significantly higher than the national increase of 14%.
‘NSW has recently committed to targets for reducing street sleeping by 50% by 2025, and preventing and addressing homelessness should be a key priority for all parties at this election.’
‘We wholeheartedly endorse the call by Homelessness NSW for an overall increase in social housing stock, of more than 5000 new dwellings a year until 2026, to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in NSW.
‘However, we acknowledge that this figure does not meet existing, let alone future demand. We endorse this figure as a starting point, whilst acknowledging that more significant investment is required moving forward.
‘As well as increasing housing stock, we must ensure that future investment in social housing must provide safe, purpose-built facilities which promote wellbeing and community cohesion.
‘Importantly, the platform recognises the need for greater cooperation and coordination between government departments to ensure that no-one falls through the cracks.
‘Homelessness NSW calls for a whole-of-government response to homelessness and a commitment by departments of justice, mental health and housing to ensuring that no one ‘exits’ from institutions such as out of home care into homelessness.
‘We agree that the system needs drastic change. StreetCare members have experienced the current under-resourcing being felt particularly harshly by consumers who live in regional and remote areas.
‘Priorities identified in the platform are all key areas which require meaningful contribution from consumers with a lived experience in service design, delivery and evaluation.
‘The adoption of the 2019 Homelessness NSW Election Platform by the any future government would represent an important step towards addressing homelessness in NSW,’ said Maddy Humphreys.