507. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the Leader of the House
representing the Minister for Community Services:
I refer to the size and nature of
homelessness in Western Australia, which is being reported as a major problem
that is increasing across several areas of the state.
(1) Can the
minister please outline the true extent of homelessness by advising whether
information on the number of people sleeping rough is being captured; and, if
it is —
(a) the estimated
number of people sleeping on the streets;
(b) in which areas the problem is
(c) the long-term trends; and
(d) are any government funds
allocated to assisting those without anywhere to call home?
(2) What is currently being done to
help homeless people get off the streets?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
information is captured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its census.
The closest definition of ''rough sleepers'' is persons living in
improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out.
(a) As at the
2016 census, there were 1 083 persons living in improvised dwellings, tents, or
sleeping out in Western Australia.
(b) This information is available from the 2016
census at the ABS geography of statistical area level 3. The highest
number of persons living in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out was
recorded in Perth city, with 271, followed by the Kimberley, with 147.
(c) The 2016
census shows the following trend in persons living in improvised dwellings,
tents, or sleeping out: in 2001, it was 1 410; in 2006, 1 016; in 2011, 929;
and in 2016, 1 083.
(2) In 2018–19,
the Department of Communities will fund approximately $98.2 million to deliver
a range of homelessness services including crisis accommodation, such as family
and domestic violence services that assist with the prevention of homelessness,
and outreach for those sleeping rough. The Department of Communities also
offers significant support, including bond assistance and rental subsidies,
across the housing continuum that enables individuals to find a home of their
Homelessness is a complex social
issue that requires a collaborative response from all levels of government and the community. The Department of
Communities is leading the development of a 10-year strategy on
homelessness, which will be a whole-of-community plan that looks at better ways
to help people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to access
accommodation and support.