Num­bers of home­less fall in re­gion

Broome Advertiser - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

Home­less­ness fig­ures in the Kim­ber­ley fell 33 per cent from 2011 to 2016, ac­cord­ing to new Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics fig­ures.

The over­all num­ber of home­less peo­ple has fallen from 1821 to 1205.

ABS de­ter­mines some­one as home­less if they fit into one of six cat­e­gories — peo­ple sleep­ing out or in im­pro­vised dwellings; peo­ple in sup­port ac­com­mo­da­tion for home­less; those tem­po­rar­ily staying with oth­ers; boarding house lodgers; other tem­po­rary lodg­ings; and peo­ple liv­ing in “se­verely” crowded dwellings.

Homes con­sid­ered se­verely over­crowded would re­quire four or more ex­tra bed­rooms to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­one who usu­ally lived there. The cat­e­gory makes up the most home­less peo­ple in the coun­try, hav­ing in­creased from 41,370 in 2011 to 51,088 in 2016, and the WA re­gion, which has one of the high­est rates of home­less­ness in the State.

In the Kim­ber­ley, num­bers in the cat­e­gory have dropped from 1429 to 737. Most cat­e­gories have de­clined ex­cept for those liv­ing in ac­com­mo­da­tion for the home­less, which in­creased from 33 to 99 and peo­ple liv­ing in im­pro­vised dwellings or sleep­ing out, which has gone up from 134 to 154. WA Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties hous­ing as­sis­tant di­rec­tor-gen­eral Greg Cash said pub­lic hous­ing prop­er­ties in the Kim­ber­ley had in­creased from 1703 in 2012 to 1875 in 2017.

In the same pe­riod the pub­lic hous­ing wait list for the re­gion went from 1250 to 1017 and the pri­or­ity list from 257 to 139.

“The in­crease in pub­lic hous­ing stock in the Kim­ber­ley, com­bined with a gen­eral re­duc­tion in de­mand for hous­ing, has po­ten­tially con­trib­uted to eas­ing the pres­sure of home­less­ness in the area,” Mr Cash said.

He said thanks to a Com­mon­wealth fund­ing through the Na­tional Part­ner­ship Agree­ment on Re­mote Hous­ing, which op­er­ated un­der a dif­fer­ent name from 2008-2016, $1.156 bil­lion had been pro­vided to WA to im­prove out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties and re­gional towns in­clud­ing new hous­ing con­struc­tion and sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment out­comes.

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