COVID-19 to increase homelessness risk: report

COVID-19 to increase homelessness risk: report

“COVID-19 will disproportionately affect those that are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

That’s one of the conclusions reached by a new report released by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI).

The report, Homelessness and COVID-19, breaks down a number of key areas in which the pandemic will potentially lead to more people sleeping rough, and where those experiencing homelessness will find themselves at risk.

CS has welcomed the efforts that governments have gone to so far.

According to the report “CSI supports action currently being taken by governments, the Reserve Bank and the financial sector.” It names tax relief for small business and social enterprises, one-off grants, and increased income support to pensioners and beneficiaries among other policies.

However, according to the report, more is needed to help mitigate health risks.

CSI’s Chris Hartley is one of the report’s authors.

“The Federal Government and the national cabinet have implemented many key actions to respond to the risks regarding COVID19 and homelessness,” Mr Hartley said.

“One of the key policies is a moratorium on evictions, where tenants can indicate financial hardship as a result.”

“From a public health perspective we believe more should apply as a general rule- any eviction, for whatever reason leads to increase risk of homelessness.”

Each state and territory is considering how to best respond to the challenge of rapidly housing rough sleepers. In NSW, the Berejiklian Government has yet to announce its measures.

“Response to the CSI report been incredibly positive and were are providing advice at both state and federal level as a result,” Mr Hartley said.

CSI is on Operations Group of the Everybody’s Home Campaign who are leading efforts to ensure people experiencing homelessness are protected during COVID-19

CSI’s Homelessness and COVID-19 report is available here.

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