NSW Premier Chris Minns visited Jewish House on Wednesday where, together with Rabbi Mendel Kastel and Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson, he announced major changes for those seeking emergency temporary accommodation.
The state government has expanded access to emergency temporary accommodation for people in crisis by increasing the minimum number of days covered from two to seven. Bank account caps for people experiencing family and domestic violence has also been scrapped.
“Thank you to Rabbi Kastel, thank you to Jewish House – it’s wonderful to be here with the Rabbi, as well as the ministers,” Minns said, while also acknowledging the vital role Jewish House plays in combating homelessness.
“This is an important initiative and I think it will make a major difference to the people who are going through the trauma of being homeless. Making sure we change the restrictions to make sure those who are suffering homelessness have access to seven days of temporary accommodation rather than just 48 hours, will make a major difference.
“We need to make sure when we’re dealing with the housing crisis in NSW we’re at the same time making sure that we’ve got policies that are humane for those that are suffering this obviously traumatic experience.
“I don’t want to see a situation where a woman fleeing domestic and family violence has to pick up and leave every two days. This is an important change for people in some of the most vulnerable situations.”
Kastel, CEO of Jewish House, welcomed the announcement and said he was “honoured” the Premier chose “us as the place to make those announcements”.
“We’re very happy with the announcement and it’s also a bit of recognition for the work we’ve done over a number of years in relation to having supported temporary accommodation,” Rabbi Kastel said.
“We’ve been advocating for a long time about how important it is that we provide a little bit of extra time to really give people an opportunity to get the outcomes we need.”
Jackson said, ”This is about bringing humanity and dignity back to the housing system in NSW and sends a clear message that this government cares about our homeless community and people in crisis.
“Two days just isn’t enough time for someone experiencing housing insecurity to organise their next steps.”
From left: Rose Jackson, Chris Minns, Roger Clifford, Kate Davies,
Rabbi Mendel Kastel.