Homeless shanty town springs up in Belmore Park as rough sleepers flock to inner-city park

(James Gorman, 3 February 2015, Central)

An inner-city park has become home to an increasing number of homeless residents who have set up tents and living areas throughout the public space.

As the State Government pushes ahead with the sale of public housing in the city, rough sleepers have taken to setting up living quarters in Belmore Park opposite Central Station — not unlike the campsites which arose in Sydney during the Great Depression...

...Sydney State MP, Alex Greenwich said the factors leading to homelessness in the city were complex.

“This situation highlights the lack of accessible social housing and a lack of affordable housing in the city,” he said.

“Sadly the government’s approach is to sell off public housing in the inner-city rather than look to increase it and help people who are in need.

“When it comes to homelessness it is such a complex issue, it could be people are escaping domestic violence, it could be because of mental illness issues or substance abuse or it could be because of financial stress.

“Obviously it is not illegal to be homeless however I think the issue here is the built structures that have been put up in the park. These individuals need to be given help to get back on their feet.”

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