Northern Rivers applauds Rudd plan for homeless
“This mightn’t get there, but it will go a long way to resolving the problem of homelessness,” she said.
The Government will spend $6.2 billion to reduce the number of homeless people by about 52,000 within 12 years.
The plan immediately won applause from welfare organisations across the Northern Rivers.
Peter Boland, a youth worker at Byron Youth Refuge, said homelessness in the region was in crisis.
“Housing in Byron, Ballina and Lismore is almost impossible to get,” he said. “If you have nurses, fireys and ambos finding it hard to find affordable housing, how do you think it is for young people who are unemployed or have low-paying jobs?”
The Government report suggests about 105,000 people are homeless, with 16,000 who ‘sleep rough’.
The remaining 89,000 are either staying with friends or relatives in crisis accommodation. Despite Australia’s recent record boom, the number of homeless has jumped 16 per cent between 2001 and 2006.