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Homelessness

In need of immediate assistance?

Link2Home is a telephone service providing information, assessment and referral to specialist homelessness services, temporary accommodation and other services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  Call ‍1800 152 152

 

Like many communities across Australia, the city of Parramatta is home to an increasing number of people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. We recognise that minimising the risk of homelessness and supporting people experiencing homelessness in our city improves the wellbeing of our entire community, including residents, businesses and visitors.

The complexity of homelessness means that working through collaboration and partnerships is essential. Council’s homelessness response is therefore delivered in this context and consists of a mix of practical actions, policy, research and advocacy that aims to:

  • Contribute to the prevention of homelessness
  • Support and work with the local homelessness sector to support coordination between services in service delivery and advocacy
  • Maintain and promote use of public space and assets for the whole community
  • Champion regional planning and partnerships.

Roles, Responsibilities & Influence on Homelessness

The City of Parramatta Council has a significant role to play in addressing homelessness, primarily in the management of public spaces and our response to people sleeping rough. State and Federal Governments have principal responsibilities for funding, policy setting and service delivery, along with non-government organisations who are contracted to deliver services.

Graph showing the impact of homelessness

View graph (PDF, 147KB)

Responding to Homelessness in City of Parramatta

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While primary homelessness (rough sleeping) is the most visible form, far greater numbers of people experience secondary (temporary accommodation arrangements) and tertiary homelessness (insecure and overcrowded accommodation arrangements) in the Parramatta LGA. As Council has responsibilities for managing public space and works closely with the local homelessness sector, addressing primary homelessness tends to be the area in which we can have the most immediate and obvious impact. However, our policy responses consider all forms of homelessness.

Management of Public Space

Council is responsible for maintaining public amenity and promoting the use of public space for the whole community. Our Public Space Liaison Officer is focused on working collaboratively and compassionately with the service sector to connect people experiencing homelessness to relevant supports, and to negotiate solutions where safety or public amenity may be impacted by homelessness.

Do you have questions or concerns related to homelessness in Parramatta?  

Please contact the Customer Contact Centre. If your concern regards a specific person or space, please ensure that you have as much detail as possible regarding location etc. ready to share with Customer Contact Centre staff.

If your concern relates to the use of private land, Council may have limited capacity to assist. Should you be concerned about public safety or antisocial or illegal activities, it is recommended that you contact the Police.
 

Food Services 

Council is not directly involved in the provision of food services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. However, Council seeks to coordinate services offering meals and support to people on public (Council) land. Permits are required to deliver these services. See Council’s Mobile Food Vending User Guide and Application Form for more details.

Homelessness Street Count

To better understand the experience and prevalence of homelessness in our city, we are involved in an annual ‘Homelessness Street Count’ in our Local Government Area (LGA). We coordinate our street count with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), who conduct street counts across New South Wales. To ensure that our street count is accurate, we have built strong relationships with homelessness experts who work within our community. The physical street count seeks to gain an accurate picture of rough sleeping in the City, and this data is supplemented with numbers of people accessing temporary accommodation on the same night, as provided by the local homeless service sector.

The graph below demonstrates the number of people counted as rough sleeping or in crisis/temporary accommodation by the Street Count between 2010 and 2020.

Graph showing homelessness in Parramatta LGA


View PDF version (33KB)

Parramatta Region Homelessness Interagency

Council provides secretariat and coordination support to the Interagency, which works to address homelessness in the Parramatta region. It is not a standalone organisation, but a network of services and agencies committed to preventing homelessness and supporting people experiencing homelessness. It meets bi-monthly to discuss and address issues of importance to the sector.

If you wish to make a donation to a local service, the Interagency’s Current Members page provides information on services that are willing to accept donations.

Affordable Housing

Housing affordability is a critical issue in the City of Parramatta local government area and across Greater Sydney. In the City of Parramatta, 24% or one in four households in the private rental market, are currently in rental housing stress (2019). The City’s Affordable Rental Housing Policy 2019 provides further information on affordable rental housing and the City’s approach to supporting the delivery of new affordable rental housing through the planning system.