SERVICE providers in Midland have come out in support of a Woodbridge development that may see 17 homeless shelters established on vacant bushland on Devon Street, saying that the current rental crisis in WA is making shelter even more valuable to the community.
Dreambuilders Midland’s Ursula Dixon and Midlas chief executive Sarah Patterson were both key note speakers at The Homeless Crisis in Midland – A Call to Action event in August.
With Perth’s rental market availability currently under one per cent, both are concerned about homelessness in Midland, and both believe that any development to assist the homeless is invaluable.
“At Dreambuilders Care we’re seeing a much larger number of individuals telling us they’re having to move in with their parents, or other people, because their tenancies have been terminated, or they can’t afford them anymore,” Ms Dixon said.
“The demand on our emergency relief has literally tripled in the last two weeks.
“We’ve seen a decline in what supermarkets are able to give us through entities like OzHarvest and Second Bite.
“We’re going to see an increase in homelessness and inevitably some families are going to be affected by that as well.
“I’m worried what will happen in the first three months of next year.
“I’m happy to see a development that will help people suffering from homelessness, we’re talking mental health and all those sorts of things.
“If someone is able to lock their front door, they are able to spend some time thinking about what’s going on with them, maybe making some changes.
“I do think that if you’re homeless, your highest priority is to find a safe place to stay, you’re not thinking about how to reduce drug use, or how to get a job.”
Midland chief executive Sarah Patterson echoed the views of Ms Dixon.
“There is a severe shortage of affordable rental properties in Perth and we are seeing a growing number of individuals and families who are becoming homeless due to this shortage,” she said,
“You can’t get a job if you are sleeping on the streets.
“You are overlooked for a private rental if you are homeless.
“Private landlords need a phone number, address, and fve rental references – a person who is street present will often have none of these.
“The proposed new development in Woodbridge will offer affordable accommodation, that gives people in hardship a hand up, and gives them a chance to be considered for the job they need to move forward.”