Kyabram Free Press

‘The numbers are staggering’


“People who are housed are not homeless.

“Having enough housing — in the form people need it — is critical.”

There was a staggering 38 per cent increase in the number of people who said their mental health was a reason they were without housing.

Almost half of all clients, 47 per cent, had a previous mental health diagnosis.

“People with mental illness are more at risk of homelessne­ss, due to increased vulnerabil­ity, difficulty sustaining employment, and withdrawin­g from friends and family,” Ms Adams said.

Additional­ly, close to one in three Beyondhous­ing clients said they were homeless because they were fleeing family violence.

Ms Adams hoped this year’s homelessne­ss numbers would motivate federal leaders to “ramp up the resources for the evidenceba­sed, housing-focused solutions to homelessne­ss” that were “proven to work”.

“Homelessne­ss doesn’t have to be inevitable,” she said.

“We can make an impact by increasing the constructi­on of affordable housing at a scale that meets the needs of the community.”

Beyondhous­ing is currently constructi­ng or planning constructi­on of 160 new homes in the next year, using its own funds in addition to funding from the Peter and Lyndy White Foundation and the Victorian Government.

“But even at the current rate of constructi­on we could not provide enough homes for the people and families already on the lengthy waitlist, let alone respond to the dire shortage of private rentals in the region,” Ms Adams said.

Housing stress was “only going to worsen” for people on low and middle incomes, Ms Adams said.

“We are simply saying to the Federal Government that we can't wait anymore for a longterm systematic investment in social housing,” she said.

“There are so many families, so many households that are waiting for affordable securable housing.”

 ??  ?? Beyondhous­ing chief executive Celia Adams says homelessne­ss doesn't have to be inevitable.
Beyondhous­ing chief executive Celia Adams says homelessne­ss doesn't have to be inevitable.

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