$57.5M commitment to address Homelessness Crisis

Shelter WA congratulates the WA Liberals for their commitment to help people break the cycle of homelessness and to provide safe and interim accommodation for people experiencing homelessness. We have a homelessness crisis in Western Australia and this pre-election commitment is very welcome.

“The provision of 500 beds within a six-month period is a great first start for people experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan area,” said Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA.

“Ending homelessness is achievable with the right political will and commitment.”

“This interim solution, with new investment in accommodation and service support, will get people off the streets,” said Ms Mackenzie. “Shadow Minister Tony Krsticevic consulted the sector on what interim solutions were needed now.

“However, to be successful interim measures must provide pathways to permanent housing solutions.”

The Housing First model to end rough sleeping, which provides a permanent home and tailored service support, is successful delivering positive outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. “For Housing First to work we need housing,” said Ms Mackenzie. “With over 15,000 people on the waitlist for social housing we urgently need increased and sustained investment into social housing supply.

“We call on all parties to commit to investing in an additional 2,500 new social homes per year over the next four years.”

This is a commitment we need if we are serious about ending homelessness in WA” said Ms Mackenzie.

I would like to congratulate the Liberal Party on highlighting the potential new wave of housing insecurity and homelessness with lifting of the moratorium on rent increases and evictions, in March.

“The projected 20 per cent increase in rents means people will be paying an increased percentage of their income on rent, leaving little money for other basic necessities such as food, or being evicted and either moving in with friends or families, living in their cars or on the streets.

“We need a range of immediate and longer terms solutions in response to the ending of the moratorium.”

“This includes initiatives such as a rental assistance program, an increase in flexible emergency relief funds to assist with rental debts and increasing the supply of affordable rental homes in partnership with the community housing sector. The planning for this must start now if we are to prevent a new wave of homelessness.” said Ms Mackenzie.

Shelter WA urges the Liberal Party to build on this welcome initiative with a commitment to invest into the social and affordable housing supply and homelessness services that are needed across our State. This is what we need to end homelessness.

Fast Facts

  • Over 9,000 people experience homelessness every day across WA.
  • Over 4,310 people access specialist homelessness services every day.
  • Over 15,000 people are on the wait list for social housing.
  • There is a shortfall of 39,200 social and 19,300 affordable homes across Western Australia to meet current need.

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For media interviews with Michelle Mackenzie contact Shelter WA via email here. T: 0419 931 819

About – Shelter WA

Shelter WA brings together a strong coalition committed to diverse and affordable housing choice for all, with a particular focus on housing for people on very low to moderate incomes and groups that experience housing insecurity. Shelter WA undertakes research, engagement, policy development and strong advocacy to drive solutions to build an effective housing system and alleviate housing-related poverty. Our vision is that all people living in Western Australia have housing that enables them to thrive.