A solution to Perth’s homeless crisis is within reach

Governments and decision makers can maximise opportunity when they proceed with the newly announced Perth City Deal if they properly consult with people who have first-hand experience of homelessness and the community sector, Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie says.

Welcoming the announcement of the new initiative, particularly the homelessness package, Ms Mackenzie said it was now vital the money was invested to support people who currently live on the streets and create a truly vibrant and progressive city.

“COVID- 19 helped to shine a spotlight on homelessness in this city and we applaud all spheres of government for listening to the community’s desire to help people who don’t have a place to call home or are at risk of homelessness,” she said.

We must act swiftly

“With media reports over the weekend highlighting the growing problem of homelessness in the city, this announcement was not a moment too soon. We must act swiftly.”

Ms Mackenzie said if the money was spent wisely, Perth could in fact become a world leader in its dedication to creating an inclusive community.

“It is our understanding that while the details are still to be worked out, the deal includes additional Commonwealth funding for the Perth Common Ground project along with investment in a safe night shelter,” she said. The State Government must be congratulated for supporting the Perth Common Ground initiative and this City Deal brings this one step closer.

Lifeline to essential services and pathways to permanent homes 

The night shelter was very important and should be made a priority because it would not only provide a safe space to the most vulnerable people in the city but it would also throw a lifeline by connecting people to essential services and pathways to permanent homes with dignity and respect.

“This would be a very important and welcome initiative for supporting people experiencing homelessness to find a pathway to a more secure future in the form of permanent housing. It would be like shining a light of hope in a world that is currently very dark,” she said.

Ms Mackenzie said it was exciting to consider that other cities around the world that had welcomed well-designed social and affordable housing into their fold have blossomed into vibrant and inclusive communities.

“Shelter WA looks forward to working with the City, State and Federal Government, the community housing and community services sector and people with lived experience of homelessness and housing insecurity, as discussions progress on the City Deal to ensure that we maximise opportunities and deliver great housing options for all,” she said.

View Media Release City Deal to create 10,000 jobs and transform Perth CBD here

Further Information

To arrange an interview with our CEO Michelle Mackenzie, please contact Heather Bush, Head of Communications and Marketing here.

Fast Facts

  • Over 9,000 people experience homelessness every day across Western Australia.
  • Over 14,500 people are on the wait list for social housing, including 2000 people who are priority listed.
  • Between January to July 2020, there was an increase of 3.7 percent in public housing wait list applications.