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Labor has sound record on hostels for the homeless, says Howe



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MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT" BRIAN HOWE

BHQ87/96 22 February 1996

LABOR HAS SOUND RECORD ON HOSTELS FOR THE HOMELESS, SAYS HOWE.

An evaluation of the Inner City Hostels Redevelopment Program (ICHRP) in NSW, launched In Sydney today, revealed an overwhelmingly positive response to the program and Its achievements.

Launched by the Federal Minister for Housing and Regional Development Brian Howe and the NSW Minister for Community Services, Ron Dyer, "My Own Place", found that the improved quality of the hostels was an important outcome for homeless people.

The report found that the ICHRP had successfully reached its objectives to reduce the size of inner Sydney hostels, improve the quality of. the accommodation and support provided by the hostels, and provide a greater range of accommodation options for homeless clients.

"Staying in a place like this gives you a sense of respect", one homeless person is quoted in the report.

"it's become a home to me" said another.

"The Federal Labor Government has a sound record in responding to' the needs of homeless people In stark contrast with the record or commitment of the Coalition", Mr Howo said,

"The Labor Government has funded the rejuvenation of major homeless hostels across Australia. We have a genuine commitment to assisting disadvantaged people. All John Howard can offer on behalf of the Coalition is serial sloganeering disguising the fact that the Coalition Will radically reduce support for the homeless".

During the program's five years (1Θ90-1Θ95), the Commonwealth provided more than S42 million to five large inner Sydney hostels, and the Salvation Army, Wesley Central Mission, Sydney City Mission and the St Vincent De Paul agencies

contributed some $9 million.

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A number of key benefits identified by clients, Included safe, secure and affordable accommodation, individualised support and attention, Increased control over their lives

The report, which Included Interviews with 30 homeless people, established that 48 per cent of the 800 clients who had left the hostels had moved on to Independent living or had been successfully reconciled with family.

The ICHRP was Jointly managed by the Commonwealth and State Governments with the agencies.

endit.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Andrew Casey, Brian Howe's Office, Phone: (06) 277 7660, 018 487 581