Sydney’s Inner West LGA has experienced the state’s sharpest rise in homelessness over the last year, according to an analysis of data by a NSW advocacy group.
Data released by the AIHW this week shows the number of people seeking assistance from homelessness services has increased across 58 of the state’s 128 local government areas, Homelessness NSW says.
Inner West, Canterbury-Bankstown, Penrith, Sydney and Wollongong local government areas recorded the largest increases, followed by Walgett, Parramatta, Griffith, Campbelltown and the Central Coast.
According to the data, 245 more people accessed help in the Inner West area in 2022-23 than the previous year.
Sydney topped the list for the number of homeless people, with 2,777 seeking assistance in 2022-23.
Canterbury Bankstown (2,063), Penrith (2,254), Wollongong (2,438) and Campbelltown (2,274) all had more than 2,000 people looking for homelessness assistance that year, the AIHW figures show.
The latest data from NSW Department of Communities and Justice also shows people are waiting longer for social housing in NSW, with the longest median wait in Northern NSW, at more than five years, the Illawarra, Sydney, Blue Mountains and Hunter.
Homelessness NSW CEO Dom Rowe says at least one in ten NSW homes needs to be social housing by 2050 to end the homelessness crisis and slash the wait list, which currently stands at 57,000.
“LGAs across metropolitan Sydney and also suburban and rural areas are seeing increased levels of homelessness – showing that plummeting housing affordability is affecting people right across the state,” she said in a statement.
In Queensland, councils have welcomed the state government’s housing solutions which include lifting the threshold of housing finance loans and expanding them to more regional Queenslanders and establishing a short-term stay registration scheme.
The peak body LGAQ described these as sensible, workable solutions previously advocated for by councils.
“These latest announcements by Premier Steven Miles will hopefully help more Queenslanders have a roof over their head,” CEO Alison Smith said.
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