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New data has revealed the extent of one state’s homelessness crisis as housing affordability continues to “plummet” across the nation. Source:

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has revealed the number of people in New South Wales receiving assistance at specialist homelessness services.

Out of the state’s 128 local government areas, as many as 58 recorded a rise in people accessing services in 2023, according to Homelessness NSW who analysed the data.

Sydney local government areas, including the Inner West and Canterbury-Bankstown, recorded among the highest increases, with the effects also felt in the Illawarra and Central Coast.

Homelessness NSW chief executive Dom Rowe said the state’s housing crisis was putting pressure on frontline homelessness services, which were struggling to keep pace with demand.

“LGAs across metropolitan Sydney and also suburban and rural areas are seeing increased levels of homelessness,” she said.

“Plummeting housing affordability is affecting people right across the state.

“Right now, one out of every two people seeking help for homelessness in NSW do not receive it because underfunded services are full.”

Ms Rowe said families fleeing domestic violence were having to choose between sleeping rough or staying in a dangerous situation because they couldn’t get the help.

“It’s heartbreaking … NSW must increase funding for specialist homelessness services, as Queensland has just done with a 20 per cent boost,” she said.

“We must also urgently build more social and affordable homes.

“The NSW Government is moving in the right direction on housing, but much more is needed to protect the women and children trapped in violent homes or sleeping rough.”

Premier Chris Minns allocated about $224 million in last year’s state budget for social housing, though advocates said at the time investment was not enough.


NSW areas where homelessness services are on the rise (By Nathan Schmidt,