Councils must do more to address housing crisis

This week is Homelessness Week. It’s also the week when the 76 homeless people sleeping in Martin Place are being threatened with forcible removal by the NSW Liberal government. Sydney City Council has, at least, defended the “tent city” and taken a more pro-active role in trying to find solutions compared to the NSW government which simply wants to wash its hands of this enormous problem.

“If one of the richest cities in a rich country cannot provide housing for those who are struggling what does it say about the system’s failures?”, asked Pip Hinman, Socialist Alliance candidate for the Inner West council (Stanmore Ward).

“According to Homeless Australia, there has been a 60% increase in people sleeping in cars and a 46% increase in couch surfing since 2012-13.

“Older women are the new face of this crisis: they form part of what’s known as “hidden homelessness” — those who don’t fit the stereotypical definition of homelessness i.e. sleeping rough. They are the one in five people who couch surf with friends or family, or their car, but not by choice: they have no safe and secure place to stay.

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