NSW Announces Plan to Halve Homelessness by 2025


The NSW government has announced plans to halve street homelessness across the State by 2025.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward signed the agreement which they say will combat street homelessness.

Sydney now becomes the tenth city to join the Institute of Global Homelessness initiative.

While the NSW government has invested close to $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over the past four years, the new initiative striving to half the homeless population within six years.

“Homelessness is a complex social issue that cannot be solved by government alone,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

The NSW Homelessness Strategy over the next five years will now focus on prevention responses and address the root causes of homelessness as well as early intervention responses in an attempt to reduce the longer-term impact of homelessness.

Related: The Business Case for Social Housing: Report

Approximately 6,000 across the region are without a roof over their head.
Approximately 6,000 across the region are without a roof over their head.

While no direct action plan has been decided upon, the Premier said the government would be inviting the best and brightest from the frontline and from the community to collaborate in order to address street homelessness.

“We are working hard to break the cycle of homelessness with the latest street count showing a significant reduction in the number of rough sleepers in Sydney,” Berejiklian said.

Sydney’s homeless population currently double's that of Melbourne, with the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney's central business district home to the latest homeless enclave.

Social Housing Minister Pru Goward acknowledged it was a "very, very ambitious" target but added the government would not be investing any extra money towards reaching the goal.

“Homelessness is not a simple issue to solve,” Goward said.

“You cannot simply put a person who has been sleeping on the streets for years into a home and expect it to work, you need to give them the right wraparound support,” Goward said.

The NSW Government’s assertive street outreach program in Sydney has reportedly housed 300 rough sleepers since May 2017 with 94 per cent successfully maintaining their tenancies.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she welcomed the state government’s commitment to targets, but that the only way to achieve them is to provide more social and affordable housing in the inner city.

“Less than 1 per cent of houses and apartments built in Sydney in the past eight years are affordable,” Moore said.

“Without urgent action to provide housing in the inner city, the efforts of this initiative will simply not work.”

“The state government could act immediately to address this problem by reopening the Sirius building and increasing the number of social and affordable homes in the proposed Waterloo Estate and Metro Quarter Developments.”

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