Crisis measures won’t solve homelessness, Australian governments warned

Crisis measures won't solve homelessness, Australian governments warned

Throwing money at emergency accommodation and dispersing rough sleepers will do little to solve homelessness, a leading expert has warned.

Irish homelessness expert Eoin O’Sullivan will on Wednesday give the keynote address to Victoria’s homelessness conference. O’Sullivan will warn governments against concentrating their resources in crisis accommodation, such as shelters or hostels.

Instead, he says, governments would save money and improve effectiveness by boosting permanent housing options through adding to social and community housing stocks.

He is an advocate of the “housing first” model, which gives fast access to permanent housing, before deploying support and mental health services to ensure people are able to remain in accommodation.

In the housing first model, people do not need to earn a right to housing by proving they are capable of managing their own lives.

“I think a lot of people find it difficult to make that conceptual leap,” O’Sullivan told Guardian Australia.

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