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$1 billion funding boost to tackle rise in homelessness

The NSW government has committed to tailoring support services for those at risk in the upcoming Budget

The NSW Budget will commit $1 billion to homelessness services over the next four years to fund new and existing initiatives that are tailoring support programs.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing Pru Goward said the investment will aid rough sleepers, young people and victims of domestic violence at risk of becoming homeless.

“The NSW Government is investing $1 billion to support people experiencing homelessness by helping to break the cycle of disadvantage, giving people choices and restoring their dignity to ensure they live happier and more secure lives,” Berejiklian said.

The Budget will include $61 million to implement the Homelessness Strategy with a more assertive outreach service for rough sleepers. This will also include strengthened risk assessment to address the underlying complexity of the situation and more support to maintain a tenancy.

“Our Homelessness Strategy will ensure we are supporting people early to prevent homelessness, reaching out to rough sleepers proactively and get them housed and addressing complex issues such as mental health and drug and alcohol abuse,” Berejiklian said.

The new funding will include $6.2 million to expand the Stay Home Leaving Violence program to five new sites, $4.7 million for universal risk screening and supports to respond early to young people at risk and $6.9 million for co-located homeless and health services.

Goward said the funds would be proactive for change, adding: “I am also delighted that we can expand Stay Home Leaving Violence – a proven program that enables victims of domestic violence to remain in their home while the perpetrator is removed.”

Perrottet added that the Budget will commit $20 million over four years to a Social Impact Investment on homelessness to come up with effective new programs.

“Homelessness is not just a housing problem, and this Government is building a system that is able to prevent and respond more effectively to complex underlying causes that lead to someone sleeping rough,” Perrottet said.

The Budget will also include $10.6 million for sustaining tenancies support, $9.1 million for additional transitional accommodation and $3.8 million to support rough sleepers.

Goward said the assertive outreach program has already supported more than 220 rough sleepers from the inner city to be permanently housed.

“We will continue to be proactive in the way we engage and build trust and relationships with people sleeping rough,” Goward said. “We know that we cannot rely on people coming to us – we have to go to them.”

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