St Vincent de Paul Society NSW supports key recommendations of new report into homelessness

20 October 2022

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW welcomes key findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into homelessness amongst people over 55.

“The report found the shortfall in social and affordable housing is the single greatest challenge for people who are at risk or experiencing homelessness in NSW,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said.

“This is something that has been clear for some time but this report adds further strength to the call for more social and affordable housing stock to be built.

“The report also makes some good recommendations the Society supports, that if acted upon, would help people in need.

“It calls on the State Government to advocate for an increase in funding for NSW under the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, so there are more social and affordable dwellings.

“It recommends increasing funding to the Social and Affordable Housing Fund and examining ways to expedite construction of social and affordable housing.

“It also makes recommendations focussed on strengthening protections for renters and encouraging the adoption of longer-term leases.“This is all sound policy and would increase people’s ability to access and stay in homes.

“There are good recommendations focussing on the need for the government to fund housing that meets the needs of older women, in particular, and the need for better accessibility in general.

“Older women are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness,” Mr de Groot said.

“Additionally, we support several recommendations the report makes recognising the need for more funding for specialist homelessness services.

“Particularly for older people in areas hard hit by natural disasters; in relation to support for culturally and linguistically diverse groups; and strategies to address higher levels of homelessness amongst LGBTIQ+ people,” Mr de Groot said.

“Our members help people affected by homelessness and other forms of disadvantage every day,” St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, State Council President, Paul Burton, said.

“We know from our own data and observations that the face of homelessness is changing.

“The St Vincent de Paul Society also supports the report’s recommendations for better data on rates of homelessness in NSW.

“This will allow improved and better targeted services and supports to meet people’s evolving needs,” Mr Burton said.

“Too many people are slipping through the cracks and our services are finding it harder and harder to find longer-term accommodation for the people we support.

“This is particularly noticeable in some communities but it has become an issue across the state,” Mr Burton said.

“We urgently need more social and affordable housing to be built,” Mr Burton said.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones  |  0417 446 430