Data reveals number of homeless people in Dawson
NEW data has laid bare the shocking number of people left homeless in the Dawson electorate, and the desperate social housing shortage across the region.
Peak body Homelessness Australia and national housing and homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home have teamed up to release interactive heatmaps to illustrate the problem.
It revealed there were 700 homeless people in the Dawson electorate and 3400 were in need of social housing.
Homelessness Australia chair Jenny Smith said the heatmaps demonstrated that homelessness was a problem in all Australian communities, whether 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,” Ms Smith said.
“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 spokeswoman Kate Colvin called on the Federal Government to address the shortfall and help end homelessness in all electorates.
“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,” Ms Colvin said.
Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home have called on all federal MPs to sign a social housing pledge, committing to investment in social housing to help end homelessness, and also deliver urgently needed jobs in local communities.
A coalition of housing advocacy groups has developed the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program.
The program details how building 30,000 social homes over the next four years will create up to 18,000 jobs per year while combating homelessness.
Dawson MP George Christensen said if the estimate of the level of homelessness was correct, then homelessness in his electorate had decreased by about 10 per cent compared to official ABS figures from four years ago.
“It is a State Government constitutional responsibility to address homelessness via the provision of social housing, but the (Federal) Government will soon announce funding for more crisis accommodation for those affected by domestic violence and I’m hopeful there will be funding earmarked for this region,” Mr Christensen said.
“Further assistance of $6 billion each year is provided by the (Federal) Government to assist people to pay their rent and improve housing and homelessness outcomes in Australia.
“The government is also investing up to $118 million over five years through the Reconnect program to support peopled aged 12 to 18 years who are homeless, at risk of homelessness and their families.”
Homelessness Week 2020 runs from August 2 to 9.