Caring: Lachie’s House is a key provider of homeless accommodation in Esperance.Esperance Crisis Accommodation Services (ECAS) housedan additional30 familiesin the past 12 months.
ECASCoordinatorChristineSmith said the increase was due to more people with mental health,drug and alcohol related issues as well as an increased cost of living and a scarcity of jobs.
Mrs Smith said homelessness affects people from all walks of life.
WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlamsaid the Turnbull government should overturn the Abbott government’s“cruel”cuts to Australia’s most vulnerable.
Mr Ludlam announced the Greensplan todouble front-line homelessness funding by $1.1 billion each year for 10 yearsusing a portion of the revenue raised through changes to negative gearing and the capital gains tax exemption.
“There is a chronic scarcity of affordable rentals in Esperance and this is pushing people into homelessness,” Mr Ludlam said.
“While we deal with issues of affordable rental supply, it is essential to immediately boost services and crisis accommodation to the people who need it the most.”
According to a written statement fromthe Greens 256,000 people were sheltered by front line services in Australia each year and119,000people wereturned away due to a lack of availability.
“It’s important to remember that these numbers represent real people, a vast number of them children under nine years old, whose last resort is to sleep in a car,” Mr Ludlamsaid.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said many services were on the brink of closure when the Abbott Government did not provided funding under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
“It beggars belief that this cruel Liberal government continues to prop up the rich end of town with tax cuts and subsidies, but when it comes to the essential human right of a safe place to sleep each night, they turn their backs,” Mr Di Natale said.
The announcement was made on Youth Homeless day Mr Ludlam said homelessness shouldn’t happen in the wealthy nation of Australia.
“We have to get our priorities straight,” Mr Ludlam said.
“Artificial tax incentives for speculation on real estate has pushed prices up, and placed affordable housing out of reach for many people.
“Other countries don’t do this.”
Mrs Smith said ECASwould like to see more accommodationmade available through the department of housingfor homeless who need support for issues such as mental health, disability and large families who have been evicted.
“There needs to be funding for staff who can do home help and work with families in rentals to enable them to remain in their accommodation, not move children from place to place, school to school,house to house,” Mrs Smith said.
“Parents should be encouraged to look for work, have interests andnot be given too many handouts.
“It can be achieved, not through workshops, but with personal and individual support.
“As no case of being homeless is the same, they are all individuals and have different needs.”
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