- Homelessness Week raising awareness and advocating support for people at risk and experiencing homelessness
- McGowan Government delivering a record $2.4 billion investment in social housing and homelessness services
- All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia's 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030 underpinning key projects and investment to address homelessness
Today marks the start of Homelessness Week 2022, an annual campaign held nationally between August 1-7 aimed at raising awareness and support for people impacted by homelessness.
This year, the national theme is 'To end homelessness we need a plan' which focuses on the collective actions needed by the community, together with all levels of government to help break the cycle of homelessness. Locally, this year's theme is Housing, Health and Homelessness.
In the past year, the McGowan Government has established homelessness as a standalone Ministerial portfolio, while the Department of Communities has created a dedicated Office of Homelessness to lead stewardship, coordination, strategic planning, and practices connected to homelessness services in Western Australia.
Since July 1, 2021, the McGowan Government has added 600 social homes. Critically, 429 of those homes were delivered in the last six months, highlighting the growing impact of the Government's significant investments.
In addition, more than 860 new social homes are currently under contract or construction. The State Government continues to support the Community Housing Sector to deliver an additional 173 new social housing dwellings through State Government grants.
This is part of the McGowan Government's $2.4 billion investment in housing and homelessness service in WA, including the delivery of around 3,300 new social dwellings and refurbishments, and maintenance work to many thousands more. This is the single largest, one-off investment into social housing in the State's history and will provide an immediate boost to social housing.
Reducing the number of people who are at risk or experiencing homelessness is a priority for the State Government with key projects and investment being guided by All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia's 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030 (the Strategy) and our commitment to a Housing First approach.
The Strategy is the first of its kind in WA and aims to address homelessness in all of its forms. Since its release, the Strategy has supported significant outcomes including;
- $73.5 million for the planning, design and construction of two Common Ground facilities in East Perth and Mandurah that will provide supported long-term housing for people who are sleeping rough or experiencing chronic homelessness;
- $34.5 million for the Housing First Homelessness Initiative which is providing wrap around support and linking people sleeping rough in the Perth Metropolitan Area, Rockingham/Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton to accommodation;
- Boorloo Bidee Mia, providing a supported accommodation option in the Perth CBD for people sleeping rough. Boorloo Bidee Mia is the first low barrier homelessness service of its kind, offering culturally supported accommodation for some of the most complex individuals, many of whom have experienced long-term homelessness;
- Koort Boodja, consistent with a Housing First approach, providing low barrier supported accommodation. Koort Boodja was established following the success of Uniting WA's Beds for Change initiative; and
- expanded funding for HEART, to enable seven days a week assertive outreach servicing through the Safe Perth City Initiative.
Shelter WA is hosting a series of events during Homelessness Week. For more information visit https://www.shelterwa.org.au/events/homelessness-week-2022/events/.
Comments attributed to Homelessness Minister John Carey:
"As the State's first dedicated Homelessness Minister, and as Housing and Lands Minister I am using every lever I can to deliver more social housing, and this Government is making significant investments in homelessness programs.
"I am fully cognisant of the challenges we face in terms of homelessness as it intersects with many other deep social, health and economic issues: trauma, family and domestic violence, mental health conditions, drug and alcohol dependence, and disruptive life events.
"Without addressing these issues alongside a housing response, we will not be able to fully address the problem of homelessness.
"In the last financial year, the McGowan Government has boosted its housing stock with an additional 600 social homes.
"Our Government is investing a record $2.4 billion over four years, to improve the quality and accessibility of social housing and homelessness services, whether it is through spot purchasing, modular homes, timber frame or converting other government housing stock.
"We are starting to see the return on investment that this Government has prioritised, underpinned by a high-quality Homelessness Strategy that was co-designed with sector partners.
"We are under no illusion. We know there is still a lot of hard work required to ensure all Western Australians have a safe place to call home.
"Through services such as Boorloo Bidee Mia and assertive outreach programs like HEART and the Safe Perth City Initiative however, we are demonstrating the progress that can be made when Government and community service groups work together for a common goal."
Minister's office - 6552 5300