NSW Government takes a new approach to temporary accommodation to support people in crisis
Women and children escaping domestic and family violence, disaster victim-survivors, rough sleepers and couch surfers are just some of the vulnerable people across the state who will now be able to access temporary accommodation for a longer period with the NSW Government expanding support for those seeking assistance.
Temporary accommodation is emergency housing support that is provided to people experiencing homelessness.
The reforms mean that people in need can now access an initial period of 7 days temporary accommodation, instead of just 2 days under the previous government.
This change marks a significant shift in how we support people in vulnerable situations across NSW.
The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) have revised eligibility requirements for people requesting temporary accommodation raising the asset cap to $5000 instead of $1000 and removing this requirement altogether for those fleeing domestic or family violence.
Under the changes, people who contact Link2home can initially access 7 days of temporary accommodation.
Clients will continue to receive temporary accommodation while seeking longer-term accommodation options, providing they keep engaging with support and accommodation services and take up options for accommodation.
This announcement builds on the NSW Government’s commitment to addressing homelessness. We have committed to:
- 30% social and affordable housing.
- A 2-year extension of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) contracts. The end date for these contracts has changed from 30 June 2024 to 30 June 2026. Providing stability and continuity for some of the state's most vulnerable people.
- People in temporary accommodation are no longer required to complete a Rental Diary to demonstrate they are actively looking for housing. Women and children escaping domestic violence and flood victims are just some of the people in temporary accommodation.
- The 12-month freeze on the requirement to complete seeker diaries started on Saturday 1 July 2023 as we thoroughly review and assess this scheme.
- Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing staff are available to assist people in temporary accommodation to access the Specialist Homelessness Services that can help them find stable housing.
Residents can visit their local housing office or call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of homelessness, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling Link2home on 1800 152 152.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said:
“Everyone in NSW should have access to safe and secure housing.
“The NSW Government is committed to increasing housing supply and delivering solutions to help break cycles of homelessness.
“I don’t want to see a situation where a woman fleeing domestic and family violence has to pick up and leave every 2 days. This is an important change for people in some of the most vulnerable situations.”
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said:
“This is about bringing humanity and dignity back to the housing system in NSW and sends a clear message that this government cares about our homeless community and people in crisis.
“Two days just isn’t enough time for someone experiencing housing insecurity to organise their next steps. We want to ease the burden on people trying to find stable accommodation, not add to it.
“Part of rebuilding our housing system includes giving people in temporary accommodation more time to find their feet, get connected with the services and access stable housing from the safety of a motel.
“Homelessness is not a personal failing. Many people are one bad job, one bad relationship, one climate disaster away from facing homelessness. We need to strengthen our safety net to ensure people don’t fall through the cracks and find themselves unable to access shelter.”
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said:
“Access to temporary accommodation is crucial for women and children escaping domestic violence and sexual assault. Not knowing what will happen, especially where they are going to live, often becomes a barrier for women who leave a violent relationship.
“Access to an initial period of 7 days temporary accommodation instead of 2 provides women with peace of mind so they can access other support services they need to leave a violent partner.”
Manager of Policy and Research for Homelessness NSW Kate Davies said:
“These sensible changes are the right thing to do, prioritising people, not processes, and their pathway out of homelessness. Emergency accommodation is critical in a crisis, but we must see investment in frontline support services and social housing to give people a safe home and the support to keep it.
“These changes are another step in the right direction to helping people exit the cycle of homelessness for good.”