18.7 C
Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Vinnies launch social housing campaign on World Homeless Day

Latest News

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Other News

MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

Remembering Bentley

Saturday 15 May is the seventh anniversary of Victory Day at the historic Bentley Blockade, just west of Lismore.

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Interview with Cyprien Clerc, Founder and managing Director of Futureseeds

Founder and Managing Director at FutureSeeds, Cyprien Clerc, talks to The Echo about this upcoming event.

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

Today is World Homeless Day and across the globe, charities, businesses and individuals are looking for ways they can solve the issue which seems to be growing daily.

Vinnies NSW is calling for an urgent increase in social housing.

More than 100,000 people are currently on the NSW social housing waitlist, many facing homelessness in the meantime. Some people have been on the list for more than 10 years.

CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Jack de Groot says it’s self-evident that more housing will help address the chronic homelessness problem, but this isn’t translating into enough concrete action on the ground. ‘The NSW government has a building plan, but we need to urgently ramp that up and take major action to house our growing population.

Build Homes, Build Hope

‘That’s why Vinnies has launched Build Homes, Build Hope, a new campaign calling on the Government to build an extra 5,000 social housing properties per year for the next decade.’

Social housing is rental housing funded by the government and provided by government or non-government organisations for those who are unable to secure suitable accommodation in the private market.

A recent report from the Productivity Commission showed that many households on low incomes are barely getting by in private rentals. It found that 66% of low-income households spend over 30% of their income on rent, while more of this cohort – including families and single-parent households – are getting stuck in this situation for years on end.

‘Social housing accounts for only 4 per cent of Australian homes, whereas in the UK it’s 16 per cent. We’re failing people on low incomes,’ said Mr de Groot.

‘When you take the lack of social housing in consideration with the stagnant rate of income support payments like Newstart, it’s next to impossible for people in poverty to get back on their feet. This is leading many people to face homelessness, a situation that is entirely preventable.

‘We all want to make a difference when we see people sleeping rough, but sometimes it’s hard to know-how. Here’s a tangible and immediate way to help – call on the Government to build homes and build hope for those who are facing homelessness, said Mr de Groot.

Paul Spooner says more needs to be done

With a large group of homeless in the Byron Shire and in Byron Bay in particular, Byron Shire Councillor Paul Spooner says more needs to be done.

‘I fully support the Vinnies campaign but, unfortunately, it does not go far enough,’ says Cr Spooner. ‘With over 100,000 homeless today even if the campaign was taken up by the government we would still only have an extra 50,000 homes over the next decade.

‘This is nowhere near enough to solve our housing crisis.

Cr Spooner says social housing In the Byron Shire is less than 2% of all houses available to people on low incomes. ‘This is half the rate available in the rest of the country. This is key contributor to why we have a growing homeless problem across the Shire. An 18% increase over the last 12 months.

State and Federal Governments need to do more

Cr Spooner says that to address the Byron Shire housing crisis he would call on the State and Federal Governments to immediately – stop any sale of social housing or government land in the Byron Shire; set a goal of doubling the number of properties available for social housing in the shire, and; immediately increase the level of financial support to housing the homeless in the shire through campaigns such as Byron Zero Homeless.

‘By addressing these points it would at least bring Byron Shire up to par with the rest of the country in regards to the level of social housing available and go a long way to stopping the exit of long term locals from the Shire.’

On World Homeless Day, Vinnies is calling on NSW residents to sign its petition for more social housing. It can be found at vinnies.org.au/socialhousing.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Hi
    I sent a suggestion to Kevin Hogan about building homes in rural towns as a help for the rural recession.
    Basically, i suggested that local interested groups such as lions, church groups or any suitable local group could apply for funding for a project that was built by a local builder (100 km radius so they are local unlike school halls!) Thevidea was for the land to be offered by a local developer at a reasonable price, then builders tender to build a suggested design. All accountable, federally owned, with a proviso that after 10 years the tenant could buy the property at market value.
    The idea was to get money into rural economies quickly. Very achievable if all worked together. Also adds to the public housing stock.

  2. I sent a suggestion in that everyone go home and back to the place where they came from, so the Australian population of 25 million was reduced to 500,000 Aborigines. No one was interested in going home.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.

Independent councillor fact-checks housing supply in the Byron Shire

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey won approval from fellow councillors last week for a new reporting regime she says will offer clarification on dwellings approved in the shire.

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.