Bayswater Council forms homelessness and social housing group

Stock image.
Stock image.

A WORKING group of Bayswater councillors has been formed to investigate practices around homelessness and social housing.

The council supported Cr Lorna Clarke’s motion to start a group consisting of herself, Crs Giorgia Johnson, Catherine Ehrhardt, Stephanie Gray and Sally Palmer at the March 26 council meeting.

Local and State Government polices, services, funding, planning laws, national and international practices and town planning related to social housing will be investigated.

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The group will meet at least four times a year and gain support from the City when necessary.

The council will review outcomes and whether the group should continue in November 2021.

According 2016 Census data, there were an estimated 210 people in the City experiencing homelessness, which equated to 0.3 per cent of the City’s total population.

Cr Lorna Clarke.

Cr Clarke said the group would look at factors that caused homelessness, such as drug and alcohol abuse and availability of crisis accommodation.

“I had a look at what the City was already doing around homelessness and social housing and I think we could do more,” she said.

“Homelessness is actually one of these wicked problems…it is so deeply interconnected that it is really difficult to say that there is one cause or factor.”

According to an officer’s report, the role of local government was to provide referrals to appropriate homelessness-related service providers.

The City will take further direction in improving its response to homelessness once the Department of Communities finalises its 10-year strategy on homelessness.