Calls for Housing Fix - Illawarra Greens

Calls for Housing Fix

Greens MP Jenny Leong called for a "radical overhaul" to fix NSW's housing crisis.

"Family and Community Services Minister Gareth Ward, and the NSW Liberal Government have failed to grasp the basics - to stop someone being homeless you don't need to count them, you need to provide them with a home and wrap around services and support," Ms Leong said. "We need to make renting more secure by improving renters' rights, we need to build more public housing, and we need to take the profit motive out of housing."

Wollongong Greens councillor Mithra Cox said the Greens are committed to mandating that 30 per cent of all new apartments built should be for social and affordable housing.

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Read the article by Brendan Crabb in Illawarra Mercury, 28 February 2020

 

The 2020 Homelessness NSW Conference takes place at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan at the conference, which took place at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach on Thursday and Friday. Picture: Sylvia Liber
 Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan at the conference, which took place at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach on Thursday and Friday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

The 2020 Homelessness NSW Conference took place at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach this week, featuring experts in the homelessness and housing sector.

Topics of discussion included 'Rough sleeper Responses' and 'Climate change and homelessness'.

Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan said Wollongong was chosen to host the event because "unfortunately it has a high rate of homelessness... But the service response here is a really collaborative one".

"They're leaders in their service delivery, particularly around young people and also working with families," she said.

Ms McKernan said the theme of 'Hidden but not Forgotten' reflected the various forms of homelessness.

"When people think of homelessness they often think of rough sleepers, sleeping on the street, but that's only seven per cent of all homelessness," she said.

"It's to raise awareness of women and children escaping family and domestic violence, the number of young people homeless in NSW, older women, and also a focus on over-crowding.

"The key solution that's come up (at the event) is the big need for federal and state governments to invest in social housing."

Jenny Leong addressing the conference. Picture: Supplied

 Jenny Leong addressing the conference. Picture: Supplied

Greens MP Jenny Leong called for a "radical overhaul" to fix NSW's housing crisis.

"Family and Community Services Minister Gareth Ward, and the NSW Liberal Government have failed to grasp the basics - to stop someone being homeless you don't need to count them, you need to provide them with a home and wrap around services and support," Ms Leong said.

"We need to make renting more secure by improving renters' rights, we need to build more public housing, and we need to take the profit motive out of housing."

Ms Leong also said the state government investment in new public and social housing is failing to keep up with demand, with more than 60,000 people on the public housing waiting list.

Wollongong Greens councillor Mithra Cox said the Greens are committed to mandating that 30 per cent of all new apartments built should be for social and affordable housing.

Mr Ward said contrary to the Greens' claims, "our government has invested record amounts to address homelessness in all its forms, and will continue to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with tailored, individual support".

"Our government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2025 and by engaging with people, assisting them into housing and providing services and support to help them sustain tenancies, we can achieve positive outcomes," he said.

"NSW has the largest social housing building program of any state or territory across Australia. We will continue to increase housing supply so that people at risk of homelessness can be helped into secure housing."