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Supporting people sleeping rough in Sydney

Our efforts include a street count of people sleeping rough, interagency work and helping create more affordable housing.

Fewer people have been recorded sleeping rough in inner Sydney streets, parks and other public spaces this winter.

Now in its 10th year, the City of Sydney’s street count found 278 people sleeping rough in the early hours of Tuesday 14 August.

This is around 100 people less than the 386 counted in the same month last year.

And it’s the first time since 2014 we’ve recorded less than 300 people sleeping rough in inner Sydney.

The count found crisis and temporary accommodation beds were at 88 per cent occupancy.

22 City staff and 150 volunteers walked the city from 1am to 3am on Tuesday morning to record the number of people sleeping rough. They were joined by 21 volunteer advisors who have personally experienced homelessness.

The City works with the NSW Government’s Family and Community Services, police and specialist homelessness services. This outreach work is slowly beginning to improve outcomes for homeless people in Sydney.

It’s only through collaboration involving multiple agencies, that challenging issues our city faces – like homelessness – can be addressed.

The City has invested $6.6 million over 3 years (2017–18 to 2019–20) to further address homelessness. Of this, $3.5 million has been given to Family and Community Services to help prevent homelessness and give people sleeping rough access safe and sustainable accommodation.

We run the only local government homelessness unit in Australia. Every day staff identify people that need help and make sure they get the support and services they need.

We are also working to create more affordable housing. This includes amending planning controls and negotiating voluntary planning agreements. We sell land at a discount to community housing providers and invest in affordable housing projects.

Our proposal to extend the affordable housing contribution scheme across the local area was recently open for feedback. Under this proposal, all new major developments would have to pay a contribution of 1 to 3 per cent, with the funds going towards affordable housing.

Read more about how we are addressing homelessness in Sydney.

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