HOUSING ANNOUNCEMENTS: The NSW government made several housing funding announcements on Wednesday when Minister for Social Housing Prue Goward visited the region.. L-R, Alan Hoskins AO, Chair Uniting Regional Advisory Council North; Thomas George MP; Minister Pro Goward MP; Charlie Chubb Head of Far & Mid North Coast Uniting; Tony Davies, CEO, Social Futures.
HOUSING ANNOUNCEMENTS: The NSW government made several housing funding announcements on Wednesday when Minister for Social Housing Prue Goward visited the region.. L-R, Alan Hoskins AO, Chair Uniting Regional Advisory Council North; Thomas George MP; Minister Pro Goward MP; Charlie Chubb Head of Far & Mid North Coast Uniting; Tony Davies, CEO, Social Futures. Dallas Nock

Funding targeted at reducing homelessness

THE housing crisis which has gripped the Northern Rivers has grabbed the attention of the state government with the Minister for Social Housing, Prue Goward joining Thomas George MP announce several million dollar initiatives.

Ms Goward acknowledged the government has to improve its support to those experiencing real housing hardship.

"We know we need to improve support to those in crisis as well as provide opportunities for education and training,” she said.

"But we also need to do better when it comes to preventing young people from becoming homeless in the first place. These new programs will make a big difference in Northern NSW.”

On Wednesday the duo spoke about their $1.2 million support for social housing and a $1.5 million initiative to address youth homelessnesses in the region.

Mr George and Ms Goward announced the state government will invest $1.2 million in the Goonellabah program which enables members of the local community to work with government, not-for-profit organisations and local businesses to develop a plan to create positive change.

Mr George said the program is a community-led initiative to facilitate projects which create a more connected environment with improved opportunities for education, training and employment.

Ms Goward said the projects planned for Goonellabah include assisting young families sustain tenancies through access to education and employment, engaging residents in community clean up events to improve the liveability of the estate and delivering activities for young people to increase engagement in sport and cultural events.

"These projects are tailored to the unique needs of the Goonellabah community,” Ms Goward said.

An hour later the pair announced two new initiatives aimed at reducing youth homelessness in Northern NSW.

The Northern Youth Project, with funding of $1.5 million over three years, will be delivered by Social Futures and provide crisis and transitional accommodation to approximately 92 young people in the Northern NSW Family and Community Services (FACS) District.

In addition, Uniting has been awarded $2.25 million over three years to deliver the Premier's Youth Initiative in the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW FACS District.

Mr George said investing in our young people and supporting them out of crisis into stable accommodation is critical for them and for our communities.

"By intervening early, we can help these young people get their lives back on track and continue with further education or employment opportunities,” he said.

The Premier's Youth Initiative aims to prevent homelessness among young people leaving out-of-home care by supporting them with services including a personal adviser, education, employment mentoring, transitional accommodation support and support in finding and sustaining long-term accommodation.



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