The Society is urging all political parties to outline their policies to the people of NSW as well as support the key recommendations included in the Statements. Some of the key recommendations in the Statements include: increasing the availability of social and affordable housing in NSW by establishing an Affordable Housing Fund to incentivise construction of new social and affordable housing; improving the NSW energy concessions scheme, and moving all children remaining in detention to community arrangements.
The Maitland-Newcastle Central Council, which covers the Hunter up through the Mid North Coast region of NSW, is concerned about the impacts of housing affordability and the issue of homelessness in the local community. In the past year the Maitland-Newcastle Central Council provided over $2.5 million worth of assistance to the local community in the way of rent expenses, food vouchers, utility bill support and other expenses.
St Vincent de Paul Society Maitland-Newcastle Central Council Social Justice representative, Pam Tierney, says, “In the Hunter, what we are hearing on the ground is very sobering; people are telling us very clearly that they are struggling to keep their heads above water. As people struggle to pay their bills, put food on the table and pay their rent, we need to ensure that we use our grassroots network to keep people from falling deeper into despair.
“With our social justice statements we are calling on our local representatives as well as all political parties in NSW to hear what ordinary people are telling them and put these issues firmly on the agenda for the March election.”
Download the full St Vincent de Paul Society Social Justice Statement.