Former Minister for Homelessness and Social Housing Gareth Ward has slammed the Minns Labor Government for blatantly deceiving the people of NSW and shamelessly politicising homelessness and housing policy.
“Today, the Premier has deliberately misled people into thinking his government is increasing access to homelessness supports. He’s not. In fact, he’s making the problem worse.
“As the Minister who halved rough sleeping in NSW, I can say with some authority that the policy announced today is a fake fix. Like so much of this government’s agenda, they only want to look good – not do good.
Presently, rough sleepers receive 28 days temporary accommodation per annum from the Department of Communities and Justice. To continue in temporary accommodation, rough sleepers must see a caseworker within 2 days to qualify to continue in temporary accommodation.
However, the Premier claimed this morning that his government would increase the number of ‘crisis housing’ days from 2 to 7.
“This is deliberately misleading. All he’s doing is increasing the number of days people wait in a motel room to see a caseworker. This isn’t increasing supports to the homeless in any real or tangible way.
“He’s not increasing the budget, the number of temporary accommodation venues, the number of caseworkers or homelessness supports. Is just all a fake attempt to look like he cares.
“His fake policy announcements continue with the announcement of his rental commissioner yesterday. Unlike all other commissioners, no legislation was presented through Parliament to establish the office.
“That means the new ‘commissioner’ has no additional powers, no statutory independence and no budget. At this stage, the office is just another public servant appointment with no powers to change a thing.
“This government needs to stop thinking it lives on the set of the West Wing and start delivering real services and policy changes that actually make a difference.
“To this point, this is a government without a cause, a real policy agenda or any meaningful plan to make our State a better place,’ Mr Ward concluded.