Knox welfare agencies call for more affordable housing to help homeless people

KNOX welfare agencies have called for more affordable housing as the number of homeless people in the area soars.

Wantirna South-based service provider Uniting Harrison has 43 staff working with homeless clients, and homelessness services senior manager Mark Dixon said singles and couples were the hardest group to find short-term solutions.

“Long-term we can help them, but for public housing it can taken anywhere from six months to three years,” Mr Dixon said.

“We need more properties so we can get people sleeping rough off the streets and into housing.

“The need is huge.”

He said their homelessness service had a 62 per cent increase in demand in the past five years.

Their latest figures show there were 285 rough sleepers seeking their help in 2016-17, including 127 people sleeping on the streets and in parks, 115 people sleeping in cars, 15 in tents and 28 in improvised buildings such as squats and construction sites.

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