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May 8, 2021

New heatmaps shows stats on the homeless

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Half of all social housing need is outside Sydney

Not all homeless folk and rough sleepers are in the city – the Byron Shire has hundreds of people sleeping on the streets and in parks and under buildings.

To launch Homelessness Week 2020 (August 2-9), a national homelessness group Homelessness Australia and national housing and homelessness campaign, Everybody’s Home, have released interactive heatmaps, that show the high level of homelessness and desperate social housing shortages across regional NSW, including Wollongong and Newcastle.

Regional areas of NSW along the North Coast and South Coast are among areas with the highest social housing need and homelessness

The data shows that regional areas of NSW along the North Coast and South Coast are among areas with the highest social housing need and homelessness– even before job losses as a result of COVID-19 and last summer’s bushfires.

According to the data, more than 10,400 people are homeless outside of Sydney on any one night – almost a third of all the state’s homelessness (37,500). More than 65,000 social housing properties are needed in electorates outside metropolitan areas, where incomes do not match rents – almost a half of the state’s social housing need (135,000).

Tourism focussed areas experience highest rent stress and social housing shortages 

Tourism focussed federal electorates along the north coast, such as Page, Richmond, Cowper and Lyne were already experiencing some of the highest rent stress and social housing shortages in Australia – and have been heavily impacted by job losses as a result of COVID-19.

Local homelessness services are also concerned that housing relief has not yet been delivered fast enough in Eden Monaro and the South Coast, seven months on from the bushfires that devastated local homes and economies.

Heatmaps show that homelessness is a problem in all Australian communities, whether they are remote, regional or metropolitan

Chair of Homelessness Australia Jenny Smith said the heatmaps show that homelessness is a problem in all Australian communities, whether they are remote, regional or metropolitan. 

‘People often think homelessness is an issue mainly in cities and CBDs, but the maps show that to be a myth,’ said Ms Smith.

‘The lack of housing that people can afford is not only the biggest cause of homelessness, but it also prevents people escaping from homelessness.’

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin called on the Federal Government to address the shortfall and help end homelessness in all electorates.

The Morrison Government needs to fix the national social housing shortfall

‘Australia urgently needs the Morrison Government to fix the national social housing shortfall, but it can also give Australia’s economy a much-needed boost in the process by creating construction jobs as stimulus,’ said Ms Colvin.

A call for all federal MPs to sign a social housing Pledge, committing to investment in social housing to help end homelessness

As part of Homelessness Week, Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home are calling on all federal MPs to sign a social housing Pledge, committing to investment in social housing to help end homelessness, and also delivering urgently needed jobs in local communities.

A coalition of housing advocacy groups has developed the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP). The SHARP details how building 30,000 social homes over the next four years will create up to 18,000 jobs per year while combatting homelessness.

‘The growth in unemployment as a consequence of COVID-19 and cuts to social security payments will drive further increases in homelessness. By investing in social housing, the Government will not only give more people a home but will also keep more people in a job,’ says Jenny Smith.

‘We have more than 300 member organisations that will be meeting with their local MPs to discuss the numbers in their electorates, and how they can support the call for urgent investment in social housing,’ says Kate Colvin.

‘This data shows homelessness effects all electorates, and we know social housing is the most effective solution, so we hope to see every MP sign up.’

The interactive map can be viewed at www.everybodyshome.com.au/heat-maps.

Homelessness and social housing need outside Sydney– by federal electorate

Rank

Electorate

Demographic

Social  housing need

Homeless Persons

1

Cowper

Provincial

4400

700

2

Page

Rural

4400

800

3

Richmond

Rural

3900

800

4

Lyne

Rural

3700

300

5

New England

Rural

3600

700

6

Dobell

Provincial

3500

500

7

Paterson

Provincial

3500

300

8

Calare

Rural

3300

400

9

Farrer

Rural

3300

400

10

Gilmore

Rural

3300

400

11

Hunter

Rural

3300

400

12

Newcastle

Provincial

3100

800

13

Cunningham

Provincial

2900

600

14

Robertson

Provincial

2900

500

15

Parkes

Rural

2900

700

16

Riverina

Rural

2900

300

17

Whitlam

Provincial

2500

400

18

Shortland

Provincial

2200

300

19

Eden-monaro

Rural

2200

400

20

Macquarie

Provincial

1800

400

21

Hume

Provincial

1700

300

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. There surely must be solutions that could creatively combine Government incentives with funds currently investing in the overheated share market or savings sitting in “safe” bank accounts but earning nil return.

  2. Homelessness
    Evidently many people don’t fit the structure of our current civilization. They are incapable of getting and holding down a well paid job for forty years and paying off a mortgage. There’s more freedom living under a tree…
    Probably no structure could ever fit everyone. They executed Socrates for failing to fit in and embarrassing too many ‘important’ people by pointing out how unimportant and stupid they really are.
    And apparently we prefer spending our money on submarines and war planes rather than houses and hospitals.
    We need a revolution – from head to heart, en masse.
    Only then will things change for the better.

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