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More people in homes, fewer on the street

Last published on 08 Mar 2021 in Media Releases

The number of people sleeping rough across the state has reduced by 14 per cent in the last year thanks to the NSW Government’s strong focus on empowering people to break the cycle of homelessness.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the second annual state-wide street count of rough sleepers had recorded 1,131 people compared to 1,314 people last year.

“The last 12 months has been the most challenging in living memory and our Government has worked tirelessly alongside our non-government partners to prevent and respond to homelessness during that time,” Mr Ward said.

“This work has helped hundreds of rough sleepers secure housing and prevented thousands of people from becoming homeless by helping them maintain tenancies in the private rental market.

“Pleasingly, the overall number of people sleeping rough has reduced, but I’m determined to see it go down even further and will continue working hard to deliver housing outcomes for people across NSW.”

More than 150 local organisations partnered with the NSW Government to complete street counts in more than 280 towns and suburbs in 70 local government areas.

The City of Sydney, which accounts for the largest cohort of rough sleepers in the state, recorded a 19 per cent reduction.

The NSW Government has expanded assertive outreach to almost 60 locations and has invested $65 million in the new Together Home initiative, which provides secure housing and wrap-around supports for people who were sleeping rough.

The annual street count will provide NSW Government with valuable data as it pursues the Premier’s Priority of halving street sleeping across the state by 2025.

More information about the 2021 street count results are available online.

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