NEW DATA REVEALS 800 PEOPLE ARE HOMELESS IN NEWCASTLE

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New data from Homelessness Australia has revealed 800 people are homeless in Newcastle and there is a shortfall of 3,100 social housing dwellings.

As part of the “Everybody’s Home” for Homelessness Week (3 – 8 August), the interactive heat maps show that our community is not immune to homelessness.

Decades of neglect, underinvestment and sell-offs have led to a projected shortfall of almost 500,000 dwellings nationally. Shamefully, the NSW Liberal Government has netted almost $50 million from selling off social housing in Newcastle alone.

It’s unconscionable that a rich country like Australia is failing so dismally to meet the fundamental needs of citizens. The Morrison Government needs to do more to address this crisis.

For months Labor has been calling on the Morrison Government to fund the construction of more social housing.

Regretfully, it has so far ignored the enormous potential to protect half a million jobs in residential construction and put a roof over the head of thousands of Australians.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the critical importance of safe and affordable housing is. It’s also shown that we can move mountains when there is genuine political will.

In the last few months, more than 7,000 Australians sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough have been provided with a bed in one of the many empty motel and hotel rooms.

There is absolutely no doubt if the Morrison Government really wants to, it can slash the number of Australians sleeping rough.

The National Cabinet needs to make sure that the homeless Australians we helped at the height of the pandemic are not thrown back on the street in the next few months.

Some state governments are doing good work, but this is a national problem that demands national leadership.

During the Global Financial Crisis, the former Labor Government invested $5.638 billion in the construction of nearly 20,000 new social housing dwellings and repaired a further 80,000 existing properties. So we know this can be done.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle