The St Vincent de Paul Society is in negotiations with the Northern Territory Government to explore homelessness and affordable housing options, including making better use of existing land and redevelopment.
The society supports calls made by homelessness organisations to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments for immediate action to address the ongoing homelessness and housing crisis in the NT.
“The society in the Northern Territory has provided homelessness services for over 50 years in the Darwin area alone, assisting the estimated 2000 homeless people by providing 200 to 300 meals per day,” national president Mark Gaetani said.
The Northern Territory has the highest rate of specialised homelessness service clients in the country – almost three times higher than the next jurisdiction, Victoria. The public housing wait time is extraordinarily long and the shortfall of housing stock is around 5000.
Vinnies Northern Territory president Jocelyn Cull said these statistics were not surprising.
“We help people every day but are acutely aware of the fact that their options are limited as they are forced to seek help many times over simply because there is no resolution,” Ms Cull said.
“We are negotiating with the Northern Territory Government to ensure the continued provision of our Darwin homelessness services, providing interim accommodation solutions for homeless and transient visitors in the urban centres and, ultimately, increasing affordable and social housing stock.
Mr Gaetani and Ms Cull said Vinnies was looking forward to a “timely resolution of our negotiation efforts. We know that housing is the first step to helping people get on with their lives and achieve their full potential”.
Vinnies negotiates with Northern Territory Government to help address housing crisis (St Vincent de Paul Society)