Yass homelessness is rising

UNSEEN: Homelessness is on the rise in Yass. Picture: Cristian Newman
UNSEEN: Homelessness is on the rise in Yass. Picture: Cristian Newman

Homelessness is on the rise in Yass. It might not be seen or heard, but it’s there.

National Homelessness Week 2018 serves as a reminder that the issue is not always visible.

Argyle Housing, a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable and social housing in NSW, has seen a worrying rise in requests for housing services in Yass.

CEO Wendy Middleton said, “Of the properties that we manage in Yass, all 95 are allocated to social housing and in many cases are not enough compared to the list of people waiting for or needing social housing.”

Adding to the cause for concern locally, Ms Middleton said usually the organisation works with support agencies to assist in providing social housing, but recently in Yass, the office is dealing with enquiries from people off the street.

There are many causes of homelessness. They can include domestic violence, unemployment, mental health, drugs and alcohol and lack of affordable housing. Ms Middleton said it’s this last cause that’s contributing to the issue in Yass.

“We are experiencing people coming in for housing packs and asking to be placed onto the NSW Housing Register as the Yass rental market has priced a lot of people out of affordability,” she said.

“The rising cost of housing is not specific to just one demographic, it affects all people including single, low-income earners, the young and the elderly.

“Our staff have also experienced a number of people coming in asking for a referral to support agencies as they are quite often left trying to keep a roof over their heads but are struggling to buy groceries and pay bills.”

Argyle Housing is always looking for homeowners and real estate agents willing to provide housing at less than market rate to give to those in need.