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Local housing groups and community organisations in Port Stephens have come together to tackle the growing issue of homelessness, hosted by local MP Kate Washington and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson. More than 15 local groups attended a roundtable discussion in Medowie today, prompted by the worsening housing situation across the Hunter region. Attendees said the lack of social housing in Port Stephens, combined with the rapidly rising cost of private rentals, is leaving vulnerable people to fend for themselves, and is even forcing double-income families onto the street. “We’ve been crying out for more social housing in Port Stephens for years, but the Liberal Government just isn’t listening,” said Port Stephens MP Kate Washington.

“Instead of waiting around for the government to find a conscience, I’ve brought all the local players together to see if we can find some local solutions.” “Every day, I hear from local people, local families, who have nowhere to go. It’s tragic, and something has to be done.” “The lack of social housing affects the entire community. It forces people onto the street, for a start. But it also forces people into the private rental market, which drives those costs up even further for everyone else. So, private rentals in Port Stephens will continue to get more expensive until we build more social housing options,” concluded Ms Washington. Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson, said: “It’s fantastic to be in Port Stephens with local MP Kate Washington to talk about the regional housing crisis. Kate has been proactive in inviting local stakeholders to come together and discuss potential solutions, it’s been excellent to share ideas on a path forward.”

“The NSW Government has been asleep at the wheel on regional housing – the situation has reached crisis point and they still haven’t issued a full response to the Regional Housing Taskforce.”

“NSW Labor understands how tough the housing situation is for many regional NSW communities and isn’t waiting for the government to act, we’re getting on with discussing solutions right now.”

Roundtable attendees included representatives from Hume Community Housing, Port Stephens Council, Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services, Tomaree Neighbourhood Centre, Yacaaba Centre, Hunter Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, St Vincent de Paul, All Saints Anglican Nelson Bay, Rotary, Lions, Karuah LALC, Wahroonga Aboriginal Corporation, Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, Port Stephens Police, Hampshire Property Group, C3 Church Heatherbrae and Passive House People.



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