Rough sleeper count down but Sydney mayor demands more affordable housing

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called on the NSW government to increase funding on social and affordable housing despite the City of Sydney recording a significant drop in the number of people sleeping rough in the city.

The street count found 278 people sleeping rough on August 14 compared to the 386 counted in August 2017. More than 100 fewer people were counted sleeping rough in February 2018 compared to the previous year.

The decrease in the street count followed the dismantling of the controversial homeless tent cityin Martin Place in 2017, which brought attention to the issue in Sydney’s CBD.

But rough sleepers account for only a small proportion of the 37,515 people in NSW who were homeless on census night in 2016 – an increase of more than 30 per cent from the 2011 census.

The SBS documentary Filthy Rich & Homeless highlighted the increasing number of young women experiencing homelessness and who are forced to couch surf, stay in emergency shelters or in their cars to avoid sleeping rough on the streets.

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Source: SMH