HomelessnessNSW.ACT, the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement, the Youth Accommodation Association and the NSW Council of Social Service commend the Iemma Government in developing a State Plan to guide the growth of NSW over the next 10 years.
As part of this State Plan, we are calling for the NSW Government to develop a Homelessness Strategy to ensure a better coordinated response to homelessness. In his media release following the consultation on the NSW State Plan, Deputy Premier Watkins stated that there was “a strong sense that we need to address homelessness in NSW. The call for there to be a priority on this issue has been a strong one and it has been heard.”
Being homeless is a complex issue, created by the failure of a variety of service systems. For example, the system’s inability to protect women and children against domestic violence results in this group being the highest sufferers of homelessness in NSW. Homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless are affected by common themes that include social exclusion, an ineffective service system, lack of access to housing that is affordable to people on low incomes and a lack of support and supported accommodation services.
This range of factors means a multi-dimensional integrated response to homelessness is required. A NSW Homelessness Strategy would coordinate key Departmental and NGO partners in the development of an integrated approach to assisting homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless.