Public housing

Social housing offer for confined homeless people

The state government will make 100 vacant public housing units available to rough sleepers who were accommodated in motels during the seven-day closure in July, but concerns remain about 200 other households who have also been placed. in temporary accommodation.

A government spokesperson said the vacant properties had recently become available after their renovation, with the government planning to relocate vulnerable families over the next four weeks.

Eight more people with complex needs will be moved to specialized public housing in Brooklyn Park, where they will receive mental health support and drug and alcohol counseling as part of a 15-month trial.

Those who are allocated accommodation will be accommodated in hotels or motels until their properties are ready.

it comes after Daily reported last month that members of 310 households who were sleeping rough or experiencing violence or abuse at home when the lockdown began have been moved to a temporary motel.

At the time, Social Services Minister Michelle Lensink said the government would “put clients first in housing,” with the goal of accommodating “as many people as possible.”

The government has since assessed the 310 households and selected the “most vulnerable cohort” to move into the 100 available public houses.

He said the rest would receive “appropriate housing assistance”.

Lensink said the government’s new alliances for the homeless would help those housed maintain their tenancies and provide them with mental health support.

“As South Australians were again in motels during the last seven-day lockdown, this gave our homeless services another opportunity to work with a large number of people to help stabilize them. their lives and help them move into safe and stable housing, ”says Lensink.

“Thanks to our new alliances for the homeless, as well as the support of the SA Housing Authority, which worked quickly and collaboratively during the state’s last seven-day lockdown to support our most vulnerable.

“The results speak for themselves and it continues to underline that if we work together we will achieve great results.”

But opposition social services spokesman Nat Cook said there were “at least 200 households now returning to homelessness, without support and with uncertain futures in the middle of winter and pandemic “.

“It shouldn’t take a lockdown to start getting housing results for people who are homeless,” she said.

“It is a failure of the government.”

Daily asked Lensink what “additional housing assistance” would be offered to some 200 households that would not be moved to public housing.

Lensink replied, “Labor and Nat Cook claim to care about our most vulnerable, but have sold 7,500 public housing worth $ 1.5 billion over 16 years.

“7,500 South Australians could have a roof over their heads right now.

“Unlike Labor, we have supported a record number of our most vulnerable South Australians in safe and stable housing during the pandemic, we are spending millions on record-breaking public housing maintenance and repairing the system – and our homes – they have gone to rot. “

At the height of the pandemic last year, the government moved 250 homeless people from a motel to longer-term housing.

However, not all of the people who were placed in motels were moved to social housing, with the government reporting that up to 542 homeless people were in motels as of July last year.

Some have chosen not to engage in services, while others have found accommodation of their own accord.

According to the latest federal government data, there were 32,147 public housing properties in South Australia last year, but 271 of these were deemed ‘inlocative’ and 246 were undergoing major redevelopment.

The latest data from the Adelaide Zero project shows that there were 266 people who were actively homeless in the CBD as of June – a 29% increase from the previous month.

Meanwhile, the number of people sleeping rough increased by 50% between May and June.

Cook called the figures “worrying”, saying the government had rushed recent homeless sector reforms, causing “disruption and uncertainty”.

But Lensink said the increase was due to homeless service providers checking their active client lists as part of the state’s recent transition to new alliances for homelessness.

A government press release said the data reflected “greater accuracy and better knowledge of the homeless, rather than a spike in homelessness.”

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