Funding to help homeless

DEALING with homelessness in regional areas such as the Northern Rivers requires different strategies to those used in cities.

That’s why new funding provided to the Northern Rivers Social Development Council is so important.

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin announced the $109,800 research grant at yesterday’s Northern Rivers Housing Forum at Ballina.

NRSDC chief executive, Tony Davies, said their research would be the first of its type in Australia.

He said the Northern Rivers had an ‘extraordinarily high need’ for better programs to address homelessness.

“We have to get cracking, we have to get results. But we have our work cut out for us,” he said.

Mr Davies said there were a couple of ‘worrying trends’ in the local area.

“A lot more families are going into homelessness as a result of financial pressure,” he said.

The problems have been made worse by a lack of public housing stock and high rents.

Ms Saffin said the grant would ensure the work being done to add- ress homelessness would continue to be effective in the long term.

“We now have the potential to address the problem so it does not get worse,” she said.

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