During NSW Parliament Question Time today Greens NSW Housing spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP raised the un-ignorable reality of homelessness on the doorstep of Parliament House. This happened on the day that it was reported that "the Premier has said homeless people sleeping rough in Sydney city centre made her “completely uncomfortable".
"It's unbelievable that the Premier of NSW is reportedly complaining about how uncomfortable the reality of homelessness makes her - when it is the thousands of people sleeping rough that are really doing it tough.
"When I asked the Premier if she would commit to a Housing First approach, which would see people being offered permanent housing as the best way to address homelessness, she replied by putting the blame on everyone else. She first blamed the people who are homeless saying they are refusing to accept help and then she moved on to blame the local council.
“It is disingenuous for the Premier to pretend that they are helping address homelessness, when what people are offered by FACS is a few days of temporary accommodation in a hotel or pub. Those sleeping rough know that the waiting list for permanent accommodation in public housing stretches for months, if not years.
"To have the Premier trying to blame the Lord Mayor Clove Moore for not 'moving people on' demonstrates her complete lack of understanding and compassion when it comes to this issue.
"There's a tried and tested solution to addressing homelessness and that is using the Housing First model - an approach which provides permanent housing to those who are homeless as a priority.
"People are sleeping in tents in Martin Place outside of the NSW parliament because the Premier and her Liberal/National government have failed to act to address homelessness by putting housing first. No one else is to blame but them.