Council to advocate for DV housing provision in shire

Picture: file
Picture: file

Wollondilly Council will advocate for the provision of temporary or crisis accommodation in housing planning policies to better support residents fleeting domestic violence and experiencing homeslessness.

Councillor Judith Hannan raised a motion at the most recent council meeting calling on the council to advocate for Temporary Supportive Accommodation to be included in the state government's review of the Housing State Environmental Planning Policy.

She said she was inspired by Picton CWA's recent call for more social and affordable housing in the shire.

"Most of the people [requiring emergency housing] are women over 55 who, through no fault of their own, end up in a difficult situation," Cr Hannan said.

"Some other councils use council facilities to provide a roof over their heads.

"When I wrote into council about this the suggestion was that we make a provision [for developers] when you're doing a voluntary planning agreement, they need to put a facility in for emergency housing.

"It's really important. I believe it's a human right to have shelter."

Councillor Blair Briggs noted local police attending community forums always spoke of the rise of domestic violence in the region.

He said the social stigma surrounding short-term accommodation needed to be reevaluated.

"We need to be here for these people," Cr Briggs.

"If a boarding house can be appropriately managed and positioned near public transport, then that's what we've got to do.

"It's part of our social charter to have some concern and consideration and empathy for those in need, so I commend this motion and I hope that the incoming council stays on subject with this.

"Wollondilly is an ideal place for those in need to be - where do they go if they cannot come here and be welcome."

Councillor Matthew Gould also praised the motion, citing family violence as "the pandemic of crime we have in Wollondilly" that will only increase with more residents set to call growing suburbs like Wilton home.

"Domestic violence does not have an easy solution, and if council can look at ways to think outside the square that goes a long way to helping people who are suffering from domestic violence to get out of those situations," he said.

"We don't have the facilities in Wollondilly [at the moment].

"We need to look at a more comprehensive response in the long term."

The chief executive's comment in the business papers noted "Wollondilly values all of its residents and will advocate strongly to ensure our community has a voice in planning legislation".

Local Government NSW recently called for the government to invest in social housing to support women in need.

"Councils have long recognised the urgency of this issue and have been advocating for the NSW and federal governments to take action and address the housing and homelessness crisis right across NSW," president Linda Scott said.

"The NSW Government [recently] announced an additional $183 million to fast-track more than 1400 new social housing properties, largely in western Sydney and regional NSW, and including housing for Aboriginal families.

"This funding is a great start, representing 400 new social housing properties in total, but much more is needed."

This story Council to advocate for DV housing provision in shire first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.