Audit positive about pandemic response but more investment needed to end homelessness

4 June 2021

A new report shows the NSW Government should be commended on its pandemic response to homelessness but there is still more to do to make sure everyone has a home.

“Today’s NSW Auditor General’s Report show the Government’s wide-ranging public health response to COVID, particularly when it came to homelessness, has worked well.

“However, it also shows that the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) homelessness strategy will have a limited impact on homelessness.

“Additionally, the audit shows that the DCJ received less funding than it requested and needed to constrain parts of its strategy due to budget reasons,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

The Society would like to see the NSW Government accept the recommendations of the report and invest more in homelessness services and long-term sustainable solutions in the form of things like construction of significantly more social housing.

“The Society has put forward a plan to build 50,000 new social housing residences over the next decade to cut the waiting list that can see people wait more than 10 years,” St Vincent de Paul NSW President, Peter McNamara, said.

“The Government did a great job finding temporary accommodation for people experiencing homelessness during the worst of the pandemic. 

“And setting up the Together Home program that has found longer-term housing for those sleeping rough before COVID-19.

“The Society of St Vincent de Paul has helped with Together Home and we have helped many people out of temporary and into permanent accommodation.

“That’s what Vinnies does, we try to give people a hand up, not a handout,” Mr McNamara said.

Media Contact: Lachlan Jones 0417 446 430