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Transform Unemployment Into New Houses

On 18/11/2014 I stumbled upon this newspaper cover:

There is a report in the newspaper regarding situation in Central Coast, NSW. In a snapshot it is:
- 7.4% unemployment
- 28% youth unemployment
- 1753 businesses lost in 5 years
- 2000(!) homeless people
- 12 years waiting time for public housing

I see an interesting opportunity here - a project to convince those unemployed and homeless people to build housing and infrastructure around it for those 2000 in need (which for homeless would be effectively building places to live for themselves) and to reduce waiting time from 12 years to a number of years required to build a house/unit.

There are obvious benefits:
  1. Provide housing for those in need - great opportunity for those who appreciate good causes and charity. 

  2. Employ people who are possibly financially dependent at the moment, because they are unemployed/homeless - that would also make them learn new trade, broaden their knowledge and increase their confidence when they will work together on those sensational construction sites. 

  3. Making the area more attractive for investors and immigrants considering growing population. 
What do you think?


On 21st November 2014 I submitted an enquiry to the Premier of NSW consisted of the points and questions raised above. In two days I have a received an acknowledgement email from the Briefings and Correspondence Unit with the following text in it:

"Thank you for your email to the Premier regarding homelessness and housing.

The matter you have raised falls within the administration of the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, Minister for Family and community Services and I have forwarded a copy of your email for the Minister’s consideration.

If you have any further enquiries about this matter please contact the Minister’s office directly."

So I sent an email to Ms Upton with my enquiry and on 26th November I was sent a letter from her Departmental Liaison Officer that contained the following:

"The Minister has arranged for the matters raised to be examined and the response will be provided to you as soon as possible".

That was a promising feedback. I started waiting and was very happy to receive a letter on 6th January 2015 from the Strategic Policy and Cabinet Coordination of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) the key point of which were:

1. My email touches on a number of important social issues where the FACS, and the wider NSW Government is actively seeking to deliver change.

2. FACS implements programs to encourage people receiving housing assistance to enter work among other means.

3. The NSW Government has initiated Going Home Staying Home reforms where one of the pillars for new social housing system in NSW is providing "opportunity and pathways for client independence". My proposal is relevant to it and it will be forwarded to the team conducting the consultation process.

4. There is a Discussion Paper published about social housing where public opinion can be expressed and is welcome. Feedback must be received by close of business on 20 February 2015 and the interested organisations with relevant expertise are invited to submit expressions of interest by 30th January 2015.

Below I posted a full text of the letter just in case.

I think this are the steps in a right direction and I am pleased to receive feedback from the Government and to see that something is being done. It's interesting to review the discussion paper and see how the reforms are going and what's the scale of positive change.



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