Tuesday, 16 April 2024

    $36M for rough sleeper program

    The NSW government will spend $36 million on getting rough sleepers into permanent homes in what it describes as the biggest investment to tackle street homelessness in the state’s history, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    Through community housing providers, the government plans to snap up hundreds of units from the private rental market to accommodate rough sleepers who have been temporarily placed in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic.

    About half the money will go towards buying homes from the market and the other half will be spent on providing wraparound services including mental health, drug and alcohol treatment and linking up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    People put into homes will pay 25 per cent of their income towards rent — the standard contribution for social housing tenants.

    Families and Communities Minister Gareth Ward said the Together Home program was the largest single investment to tackle rough sleeping, or street homelessness, in NSW history.

    “Throughout the COVID-19 response, we’ve worked hard to keep rough sleepers safe. Now we’re working to get them into homes with the support they need to rebuild their lives,” he said.

    “The response will be intensive and (will) pack many months of work into just weeks as we strive to transition people from temporary accommodation into secure housing.”

    Census data from 2016 indicated there were almost 2600 people sleeping on the streets of NSW, including in sleeping bags, tents and other improvised dwellings.

    It is a small but acute part of the broader homelessness problem. Rough sleepers account for about 7 per cent of the state’s homeless.

    Since April 1, more than 1200 of the state’s rough sleepers have been placed in hotels. Some have already found private rentals or public housing from existing supplies.


    NSW launches $36 million program to get rough sleepers into homes (Sydney Morning Herald)


    Extra $9.8m to extend hotel stays for homeless, help find them a home (The Age)

    Has the coronavirus pandemic proved that homelessness is solvable? (ABC News)


    Ted and Jen / Flickr / CC 2.0