Homelessness Week 2023 highlights housing challenges
The NSW Government is reaffirming its plan to drive homelessness numbers down by delivering more and better social housing and increasing access to comprehensive support services, to mark Homelessness Week from 7-13 August.
The theme of Homelessness Week 2023 is ‘It’s time to end homelessness’. So far this year, the NSW Government has:
- Committed to 30 per cent social and affordable housing in all developments on government surplus public land;
- Implemented planning reforms to expedite the delivery of more housing as building more homes is essential to reducing homelessness;
- Extended temporary accommodation from an initial period of two days to seven days;
- Removed the 28-day cap ensuring vulnerable people are able to access support when they need it most;
- Increased the cash assets limit from $1,000 to $5,000 when assessing eligibility for Temporary Accommodation;
- Removed the cash asset limit assessment entirely for people escaping domestic and family violence;
- Extended Specialist Homelessness Services contracts for two years, to 30 June 2026;
- Delivering more
- Appointed a Rental Commissioner to work with us in designing and implementing changes that rebalance the rental market, making it fairer and more modern; and
- Put a 12-month freeze on the requirement for people in temporary accommodation to complete a Rental Diary, while the scheme is reviewed.
The NSW Government is also working to create a dedicated social and affordable housing agency, Homes NSW, to drive the delivery of more housing options, manage maintenance and provide tenant support.
Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing staff are available to assist people in temporary accommodation to access Specialist Homelessness Services, which can help them find stable housing.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of homelessness, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling Link2home on 1800 152 152.
Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness Rose Jackson said:
“The NSW Government have inherited housing system that is broken after over a decade of neglect. This Homelessness Week we are reinforcing our commitment to make NSW a place where everyone has access to safe and secure housing, and where experiences of homelessness are rare, brief and not repeated.
“We’re getting on with the job, but there is a long way to go. Our priority is to build more homes across the state to get people off the housing waitlist and into safe and secure shelter.
“You can’t solve homelessness without housing, which is why we’re creating Homes NSW, auditing NSW Government land to identify options for more housing, freezing the sale of public housing and appointed a Rental Commissioner to be a voice for renters.
“Homelessness is not a personal failing. Many people are one bad job, one bad relationship, one natural disaster away from facing homelessness.”