Homelessness in Perth tipped to soar

JobKeeper payments and WA’s rental moratorium are set to end this weekend, leaving many Perth residents feeling worried and uncertain.

With rent prices increasing and wage support set to disappear, there is growing concern about the likely increase in homelessness.

Only a little more than a week ago, 191 people were sleeping rough on the streets of Perth’s CBD which is an increase of 65 from October, last year.

Homelessness in Perth is predicted to increase due to financial incentives coming to an end. Photo: Jennifer Gautier.

Jed Fay, operations manager at Perth’s Homeless Support Group, says they are taking measures to prepare for the expected increase.

“We are preparing for an influx of new people experiencing homelessness, we have actually ordered a lot more stock,” she says.

“We also do our hamper services as well; we provide those for at risk homelessness and we have noticed the demand for it.”

Mrs Fay says there is no shortage in their supply of food for the homeless, but beds are another issue.

“There’s a massive shortage in beds, WA is the only state in Australia that does not have an overnight shelter.”

Infographic column: Jennifer Gautier.

With income and rent incentives ending on Sunday, the City of Perth is committing $3 million towards the City Deal homelessness package, aimed at implementing immediate temporary strategies, as well as long term initiatives.

“$3 million is just 10 cents, pocket change really in the big scheme of things. It’s definitely not going to make a difference,” Mrs Fay says.

Warren Palmer, public relations secretary for The Salvation Army Australia says the organisation is standing by to help those in need.

“Our Doorways program has over 20 locations across Western Australia which can assist those in hardship and will be able to respond particularly to those seeking assistance due to presenting challenges,” he says.

“The Salvation Army stands prepared to assist with a variety of options to ensure the greatest fear of becoming homeless is avoided and stability can be achieved.”

“We encourage people to come forward if they need assistance.”