Everyone should have a place to call home – a place that provides stability, security, safety and connection to family and community.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made a commitment to tackle the “root cause” of homelessness, pledging to halve homelessness by 2025. She has pledged $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over the next 4 years.
This is welcome news for those who find themselves without a place to call home.
I echo the valid cautious concerns and remarks by the Sydney Alliance, who highlight that we need “much greater targets of social and affordable housing for a number of years, without which any targets to reduce street homelessness may be seen as shifting the problem to other areas and places.”
During the Select Committee on Social, Public and Affordable Housing that I chaired, the inquiry heard evidence from various stakeholders about the shortage of social housing that NSW is experiencing. Sydney has become one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in: unaffordable rents, the difficulty of entering the housing market causing mortgage stress and high cost of living means we are seeing families that had previously been home owners finding themselves homeless. This is a far reaching problem and is not just the stereotype of those with mental health issues finding themselves without a place to call home.
And it is not just Sydney that needs to be the focus of this commitment, but regional centres need to not fall to the wayside, even though accurate data of the homelessness in regional areas is unavailable. The issue of homelessness isn’t always visible as those on the streets but includes families staying in cars, or friends crashing on friend’s couches.
I will join my voice to the Sydney Alliance’s in keeping our government to account to ensure this isn’t just an election promise that falls to the wayside. Because as I approached the inquiry, I will continue to carry, God willing, into another term in parliament.
“Everyone should have a place to call home – a place that provides stability, security, safety and connection to family and community.”