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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$15.3 million boost to combat homelessness in NSW

Eight new homelessness services across NSW will share $15.3 million in an effort to reduce and prevent homelessness.

The new services will provide help for young people, women escaping domestic violence and families that become homeless in areas of need.

Federal Minister for Housing Tanya Plibersek and NSW Minister for Community Services Linda Burney today visited Marist Youth Care in Blacktown – who will receive an additional $2.1 million to work with young homeless people in Western Sydney.

Ms Plibersek said that homelessness is a complex problem that can’t be solved with bricks and mortar alone.

“Many people find themselves on the street as a result of poverty, family breakdown, domestic violence, mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction.

“This funding aims to address the causes of homelessness by linking people to health services, financial support, legal advice, education and employment.”

Ms Burney said that the funding will provide new support linked with long-term housing to break the cycle of homelessness. It will prevent vulnerable families and individuals from becoming homeless in the first place.

“From providing multi-disciplinary case management, referral and advocacy, living and social skills training, counselling, mediation and conflict resolution, financial and material support and help to access education, training and employment, this investment will stop people falling into crisis, and help them back on their feet if they do,” Ms Burney said.

Under the funding commitment, eight organisations have been chosen to deliver housing, combined with homeless prevention, early intervention and support services.

The funding includes:

  • $4 million to tackle rural homelessness in Riverina Murray and New England;
  • $5.7 million to help women made homeless as a result of domestic violence in Illawarra, Hunter Central Coast and Western Sydney;
  • $2.1 million to address youth homelessness in Western Sydney, and
  • $3.5 million to prevent families with children in Mid-North Coast and Richmond Tweed from losing their tenancies.

David Borger, NSW Minister for Housing, said the Government remained committed to reducing youth homelessness in NSW.

“On census night in 2006, there were more than 10,500 young people under the age of 25 sleeping on the streets, couch surfing or staying in crisis accommodation in NSW.

“This funding aims to prevent young people from becoming trapped in long-term homelessness by offering them secure housing and the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives,” Mr Borger said

State Member for Blacktown Paul Gibson congratulated Marist Youth Care, who will receive $2.1 million over three years to tackle youth homelessness in Western Sydney.

“I have seen the great work the Marist Youth Care program does in the region. This funding will provide support services linked to social housing for young people aged 15 to 25 who are sleeping rough or have a history of chronic homelessness,” he said.

“By linking 12 to 18 year-olds with supports like education, training and mediation services they will be reducing the numbers who find themselves homeless,” Mr Gibson said.

The Keneally Government has launched its own Homelessness Action Plan to deliver the goals set out in the Commonwealth and State Government National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

The Rudd Government is spending $4.9 billion over four years to address homelessness, with an additional $400 million from the States and Territories.

Project Funding per year for three years Description
Youth Homelessness Western Sydney $717,000 Young people aged 12 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
Domestic Violence Support Western Sydney $640,000 Women, with or without accompanying children affected by domestic violence
Domestic Violence Support Illawarra $640,000 Women, with or without accompanying children affected by domestic violence
Domestic Violence Support Hunter $640,000 Women, with or without accompanying children affected by domestic violence
Rural Homelessness Riverina Murray $680,000 People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
Rural Homelessness New England $680,000 People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
Tenancy Support Mid-North Coast $586,000 Families who are at risk of homelessness
Tenancy Support Richmond Tweed $586,000 Families who are at risk of homelessness