Key issues facing the social and affordable housing and homelessness sectors in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak
- An urgent increase in funding and resources, including funding for business continuity activities, housing and accommodation, PPE and security services, to maintain the health of workers and services to clients
- Urgent access to targeted and tailored public health advice and expertise – for services and for people experiencing homelessness and housing stress.
- Housing and accommodation for people living in overcrowded, insecure and inappropriate accommodation.
- Urgent resources for homeless health care services to provide additional medical care and GP access along with the treatment and management of other issues such as mental health and drug and alcohol services, for people who experience homelessness.
- Secure and fitted out facilities for the isolation of those who are experiencing or at risk of homeless and the costs for support for people such as food, mental health, drug and alcohol and other service supports
- Urgent, safe transport options to evacuate people from their current location to accommodation safely
- Rough sleepers, often with poorer chronic health conditions and higher risk factors for Covid-19, must have access to information, testing and results, housing and support services
- Urgent income and financial support, including the prevention of rental arrears, if people fall behind in their rent due to self-isolation, illness, insecure work or shift changes:
- 1 in 3 Western Australians are part time at their main job and risk housing insecurity and homelessness
- Nearly 50 per cent of part time employees in Western Australia do not have paid leave entitlements
- 1/4 of Western Australian workers are in private rentals and may need support to maintain their rent
- A moratorium on evictions from public housing
- Review of Department of Communities ID requirements and in-person applications with additional support provided for people to access printers/scanners/email/phone as required to complete applications safely.
- Existing court matters generally adjourned and new orders not sought except in most acute circumstances.
- A moratorium on mortgage defaults
- Contract reviews paused
- Recognising that services may be impacted, and their contracts won’t penalised
- Immediate extension of contracts due to expire on 30th June 2020.
About – Shelter WA
Shelter WA is the independent peak body in Western Australia that advocates for social and affordable housing and ending homelessness.
Fast Facts – Western Australia
- Over 9,000 people experience homelessness every day
- Over 4,300 people access specialist homelessness services every day.
- Over 14,000 are on the wait list for social housing.
- Over 1,300 people live in boarding houses
- Over 6,000 people live in insecure housing are at risk of homelessness.
- Nearly 1/4 of the homeless patients presenting to ED or admitted to hospital have one or more risk factors for COVID- 19.
As at 24.03.20 20:00