A Hunter-first plan aimed at tackling the issue of homelessness and improving the lives of those affected will be developed by Lake Macquarie City Council in close consultation with the community.
An online survey is now open for service providers, community groups, government agencies and the local community, including people with lived experience, to share ideas and suggest opportunities to help end homelessness in Lake Macquarie.
Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said more than 400 people in Lake Macquarie identified as homeless in the most recent Census.
“Our survey will focus on identifying issues, ideas for actions and building on existing support networks to reduce this number and combat the complex issue of homelessness,” Mr Bryant said.
Council is also seeking community feedback on how to provide more affordable housing in Lake Macquarie.
“This will inform ways to provide long-term stable accommodation for people who may be couch-surfing with family and friends, or staying in temporary, overcrowded accommodation,” Mr Bryant said
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the strategy will provide an important framework for Council to support the community.
“Homelessness includes those staying in temporary accommodation and includes all demographics, but largely affects young people or those over 55,” Cr Fraser said.
“We are committed to affecting positive change. There has been an increased number of enquiries from our residents, especially in response to COVID-19, and they are concerned about the welfare of others. It’s our duty to help.”
Consultation for the strategy is open until Friday 10 July. For more information or to complete the survey visit shape.lakemac.com.au/homelessness-plan.