Joint Youth Accommodation Association, HomelessnessNSW.ACT and NCOSS Media Release
2 May 2007
Leadership needed from the Premier on a homelessness strategy
HomelesnessNSW.ACT, the Youth Accommodation Association and the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) today welcome the release of the Audit Office’s performance audit Responding to Homelessness.
The report concludes that the Government needs to develop a statewide framework that outlines its response to homelessness with a clear focus on the results it wants to achieve.
“The Auditor General’s conclusions are in line with the views that the sector has been putting to the NSW government for a considerable amount of time” said Michelle Burrell, Acting Director, NCOSS.
“NSW needs a 10 year Homelessness Strategy led by the Premier. We have seen in other areas such as mental health, domestic violence and disability a significant increase in the service planning and responsiveness following active leadership by the Premier” said Ms Burrell.
“Whilst current efforts under the Partnership Against Homelessness are welcome, they are no replacement for a well resourced 10 year homelessness strategy sitting at the heart of the State Plan” she added.
“No one government agency acting alone can address the multitude of issues that are present for individuals or families that are homeless” said Michael Coffey, Executive Officer of the Youth Accommodation Association.
“The community will only be able to effectively deal with homelessness when the Government develops a robust service system rather than disjointed projects and planning mechanisms. A comprehensive homelessness strategy for NSW is required that is developed on a cross departmental basis, in partnership with the non government sector” said Sue Cripps, Executive Officer of HomelessnessNSW.ACT.
“The failure to consider the impact of domestic violence as a key reason for homelessness is a significant oversight in the Auditor General’s report” added Ms Cripps.
As Premier Iemma said in his Anti Poverty Week speech on 18 October 2006, “homelessness is not just an inner-city problem, nor is it just about people sleeping on the street. It is a structural problem for society as a whole – for governments, for business, for planners and economists, for developers – as well as those caring for the homeless. Tackling homelessness and all the misery and insecurity that go with it is the primary thrust in our efforts against poverty”.
“We look to the Premier to take the lead in developing and endorsing a Homelessness Strategy for NSW” they said.
For further information and media interviews:
Michelle Burrell NCOSS - mobile 0427 951 355
Sue Cripps HomelessnessNSW.ACT - mobile 0417 112 311
Michael Coffey Youth Accommodation Association - mobile 0425 228 758
For a copy of the Audit Office report Responding to Homelessness go to: