13 August 2018
Watch the SBS program Filthy, Rich and Homeless tonight, tomorrow and Thursday night (or via SBS on Demand) to learn about homelessness: HERE. After participating in the program, during which I slept rough and lived in boarding houses and crisis accommodation, I asked the Premier in Parliament to treat homelessness as a state of emergency.
Homelessness is rising at epidemic rates and the threat to life is on the scale of a disaster. The homelessness sector has identified a range of immediate and long term actions needed including access to prisons for homelessness workers, waived costs for government services like ID and accepting incomplete housing applications for people who are homeless. Most importantly we need to house people. We must build 5,000 new social housing homes every year to 2026 to meet need. We need to deliver affordable rental housing through at least a 15 per cent target for redevelopment projects.
While the Premier’s response to my question indicated a “want” to end homelessness by 2030, it fell short of a commitment. The government is doing some great work with its homelessness strategy and assertive outreach operations to rough sleepers, but these will not result in the dramatic change needed that will get the 60,000 families on the social housing waiting list into safe and secure accommodation. My question is HERE and my speech in Parliament is HERE.
Meanwhile, last week Parliament debated new government legislation to make it easier to evict social housing tenants held responsible for damage to their property or have failed to declare income properly. The laws are harsh and lack safeguards to protect vulnerable tenants and I joined the Greens to oppose them: My speech is HERE.
Sign my online petition calling for a state of emergency HERE.