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Homeless turned away in City with the most affordable housing in Australia

By johnboy - 22 July 2010 8

Due to high average incomes Jon Stanhope likes to proclaim that Canberra has the most affordable housing in Australia.

It’s curious for a Labor leader to announce that, because the wealthy and middle class are able to get by, the most vulnerable can go hang.

The ABC today informs us that Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows half of Canberra’s homeless through this cold winter are being turned away, and others are being shipped to regional NSW.

St Vincent de Paul says it is being forced to relocate homeless people from the capital to regional New South Wales to secure emergency accommodation.

The charity has expanded a Goulburn hostel from 10 to 40 beds.

St Vincent de Paul also manages a 12 bed single men’s shelter at Hacket in Canberra’s inner north.

The charity’s Bob Wilson says they have to turn away 150 men each month from the Canberra shelter.

“So we only have twelve beds. So we can only look after twelve people. When people are turned away we accommodate them in some of our other network of other homeless persons services in Goulburn, Wagga and Albury,” he said.

So when we talk about housing affordability do we care if a childless couple both pulling EL1 salaries can afford to buy an ex-govvie house and still eat out in Kingston on Friday night? Or do we care if we’ve got roofs over the heads of victims of domestic violence fleeing abuse with their children in tow?

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Homeless turned away in City with the most affordable housing in Australia
LSD 1:03 pm 23 Jul 10

there’s a considerable degree of working homeless here also. I’ve seen this for over 5 years. People move here on work contracts and have to bail on them or spend all their cash just finding a place to stay, so they leave – usually having expended a lot of wages maintaining their family elsewhere, and understandably bitter about the whole experience. Especially when they have some morally bereft recruitment agency threatening to blacklist them if they have to renege on their contract just so they can stop bleeding money and get their family and money affairs back in shape.

Having a large low paid casual workforce in a tenancy system that pushes twelve month leases doesn’t help either. There’s plenty of solutions about that would help quite a bit – but the gubmint doesn’t sound real interested in talking about the whole issue.

colourful sydney rac 12:15 pm 23 Jul 10

Grail said :

Have you donated to a charity this year? or are you just continuing to look for excuses to avoid doing so?

I have donated to many charity groups this year, some Australian based some international, some via regular monthly direct debits others on a more ad-hoc basis eg Red Shield Appeal – I have also given money to *gasp* beggars.

If you get the time to come down from your ivory tower I will happily show you the tax receipts – except I can’t substantiate the money I have given to beggars as they refused to give me a receipt.

Have a twinkie snapperhead.

Grail 11:49 am 23 Jul 10

@colourful sydney racing identity: I’m not asking people to donate to my cause. I am not involved in any charities. All Canberrans know that we’re “fat cats” – the Sydney newspapers say we are, it must be true!

Have you donated to a charity this year? or are you just continuing to look for excuses to avoid doing so?

@cleo: more government housing doesn’t help people who are in need of a place to stay tonight. Housing is for people who have a long term need. Shelters are for people who have a short term need for accommodation or require other assistance (e.g.: counselling) which is easier to provide in a walk-in scenario than a home-visit scenario.

If you want to guarantee that the shelters get some funding, give your money directly to the shelter: less whining and more acting.

cleo 1:48 am 23 Jul 10

When is government going to get it through their thick heads, that we need more government housing, I really don’t think they comprehend the magnitude of homeless people, they need to get down to grass roots level, why don’t they put themselves in the situation, and see how they go. Out of sight out of mind. WAKE UP! There are people, yes human beings living on the streets or in cars if their luch enough to own one!

dvaey 11:32 pm 22 Jul 10

Theres a Chinese man who owns a few houses around Canberra who has some easy solutions of how to give these people a roof over their head. He wont put 40 in one place (like charities in Goulburn apparently do) either.

arescarti42 2:21 pm 22 Jul 10

“So when we talk about housing affordability do we care if a childless couple both pulling EL1 salaries can afford to buy an ex-govvie house and still eat out in Kingston on Friday night? Or do we care if we’ve got roofs over the heads of victims of domestic violence fleeing abuse with their children in tow?”

I’d say the ABC article indicates pretty clearly that as a society we don’t care.

It is a pretty sad reality given how massively wealthy (comparatively) the majority of Canberrans are.

colourful sydney rac 11:08 am 22 Jul 10

calling people who read this site “fat cats” and then asking them to donate money to your cause is probably not the best way of going about it.

Grail 10:26 am 22 Jul 10

Someone with no income or nowhere to sleep tonight doesn’t really rate on the “affordability” scale, do they? What they care about is “availability”.

Welfare housing is a totally different kettle of fish to “affordable” housing. Welfare housing generally needs to be pre-available, while an affordable rental property might have a waiting period of a month while the previous tenants move out and the rental contract is agreed on, yadda yadda.

Welfare housing relies on some of the fat cats reading this web site to shell out a paltry twenty dollars a month to help St VdP provide more beds for homeless people.

Here’s a list of charities to get you started (thankyou to the Canberra Emergency Accommodation Service Crisis Line run by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services):

Women’s Shelters:

* Beryl
* Communities at Work Women’s Housing Programme 62884744
* Doris 62789999
* Domestic Violence Crisis Service 62806999
* Gunya Womens Housing 62975827 (Qbn)
* Havelock House 61632301
* HERIA 62783544
* Inanna South 62953323
* Louisa 62994799 (Qbn)
* Lourdes 62971296 (Qbn)
* Karinya 62598998
* Northside Womens Supported Accomodation 62491113
* Toora 62472399

Men’s Shelters:

* CANFACS 61234000
* CMCMASS 62306999
* Mary’s Place 26991619 (Qbn)
* Minosa House 61633701
* Samaritan House 62476691

Families:

* Inanna North 61636300
* St Vincent De Paul 61212999
* YWCA Housing Support Unit 61737100

Pick one, give them a call, ask how you can make a donation, follow through with actually handing over your hard earned coffee money, post back here to let us know how easy it was to help provide a bed for a homeless person or victim of domestic abuse.

Please can we have less whinging about “the gummint should” and more stories about “I did”

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