Homelessness cash injection
UP to 115 rough sleepers will be supported in the Tweed as part of plans to build 50 units made up of private, social and affordable housing.
NSW Social Housing Minister Pru Goward and Tweed MP Geoff Provest announced this morning that land on Boyd St in Tweed Heads would be developed by the State Government after Mr Provest told Ms Goward about the seriousness of homelessness in the Tweed.
She said an expression of interest for an independent developer to build the housing had been unsuccessful and the State Government would therefore do it itself.
"We're stumping up the development money and we will then sell off 70 per cent off it and that will pay for the 30 per cent which we will keep for social and affordable housing,” Ms Goward said.
"It's a win for the Tweed because it gets more social and affordable housing, it's a win for private owners and renters because there will be more accommodation.”
"I think it's a wonderful site and the developers were foolish to ignore it, but we're doing it anyway.”
Ms Goward said if the plan was successful they would consider looking at developing other similar sites in the future.
She said a further $1.8 million had been committed to funding an assertive outreach program in the Tweed over three years.
Ms Goward said the program had been successful in Sydney and would allow the State Government to reach out to the homeless and gain their trust.
"You can't just say 'Come and see us if you'd like somewhere to live', you have to persist because mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, trauma are all reasons homeless people often don't want any engagement with Government,” she said.
"This is one of the biggest hotspots for homelessness out of Sydney and you're going to have our first regional assertive outreach service.”
Ms Goward said the State Government would now speak with local providers, including drug and alcohol and mental health services to gather a team and approach rough sleepers.
"The homeless are very complex people and the outreach team will understand those complexities and be persistent and once we've got them housed, you need to keep the support going, keep them taking their medication, keep them paying their bills, keep them confident about going to services when there's something going wrong in their lives, and we've found that's been very effective,” she said.
"Rough sleeping is the most shocking part of being homeless and something we're very determined to break.”
Mr Provest said the announcement would "improve the lives” of many.
"The homeless are the most vulnerable in our community and this is great news for them,” he said.