HOMELESSNESS INCREASE IN NEWCASTLE AND THE HUNTER EXPECTED TO BE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE NATION
16 December 2020
New modelling predicts that Newcastle and the Hunter region will record the third and fourth highest increases in homelessness on pre-pandemic rates nationally.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said analysis by Equity Economics found that Newcastle / Lake Macquarie region will see a 37.4% spike in homelessness by the middle of 2021. In the Hunter region, homeless is expected to climb by 39.9%.
“These terrible increases are only predicted to be exceeded in New South Wales’ Far West and Orana region and Mandurah in Western Australia,” Ms Claydon said.
“This is a staggering increase in Newcastle that would shatter lives, devastate communities and have dire economic impacts throughout our entire region.”
Ms Claydon said the disastrous spike is expected to start at the end of March when JobSeeker returns to $40 a day.
“In Newcastle, we already have 1200 people on the social housing waitlist who won’t be able to get into a property for at least five years. Without urgent action, this will soon get much, much worse.” Ms Claydon said.
“The fact that the Morrison Government is proceeding with these cuts in the midst of the deepest recession in almost a century shows how little they have learnt. This will only thrust people back into poverty and make the recession longer and deeper.”
Ms Claydon said the Morrison Government needs to invest in social housing to protect construction jobs and help fill a desperate shortage of affordable properties.
“The Morrison Government didn’t invest a single dollar in social housing in the 2020 Budget. Its failed HomeBuilder program, which gives money to private property owners, won’t deliver a cent of ongoing public benefit.
“In contrast, direct investment in social housing will put roofs over the heads of vulnerable Australians, create jobs and help drive local economic recovery.”
The Equity Economics report shows that a $3.15 billion social housing investment in New South Wales would create 10,500 new homes, nearly 7000 jobs and give the NSW economy almost a $7 billion boost.
In Newcastle, a $150 million investment would build almost 500 new homes and create more than 300 jobs.