There are growing calls for empty student accomodation in New South Wales to be used to alleviate social housing pressures in the state.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are loads of rooms that would normally be used by students from outside Sydney that are sitting empty.
When you add that onto all the hotel, motel, boarding house and secondary residence rooms that are also vacant, then you've got a lot of options to help people who are at risk of being homeless.
A report released earlier this year highlighted how 'the casualisation of the workforce, rates of youth unemployment and underemployment and inadequate rates of income support' can 'provide a damaging mix and place young people at greatest risk of homelessness' when its combined with 'the cost of renting and the decline in affordable rental properties'.
Canterbury-Bankstown Council and Inner West Council have made submissions to the NSW parliamentary social housing inquiry about how they could temporarily open up these empty rooms to people who might soon not have a roof over their head.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there are more than 50,000 people who are currently waiting for social housing in New South Wales.
It can take some people up to a decade until they are finally given a place to live.
The state government admits the social housing system needs to get better so that people aren't forced to wait that long for a safe place to stay.
In its own inquiry, it noted: "There are particular issues of affordability in regional NSW, exacerbated by the COVID-related move of people out of Sydney into regions."
There was a near 30 per cent increase in the number of priority applicant households on the register in the past two years.
While the government tries to work out how to get more social housing locations, there are plenty of charities and organisations trying to help people who are at risk of being homeless.
White Lion Youth is one of them and they have loads of programs that are aimed at driving down youth social isolation and unemployment for at-risk youth.
They're about to launch their No Home Address campaign, which is hoping to raise $250,000 to support the national rollout of Breakthrough Mentoring.
It's White Lion's flagship service that matches young, at-risk people with community volunteers. They will embark on an 18-week program that gets them as ready as possible for a job.
If White Lion can raise their goal of $250,000 then they will be able to help 60 young people and 60 trained mentors.
All donations will be doubled between October 11-15 so dig deep and it will pay off massively for those who need it. Donate here.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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