Local News

A.C. Care Warns of Looming Homelessness Crisis

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A Murraylands Homelessnes service warns of a housing crisis in the wake of the pandemic.

During December and January, ac.care saw a dramatic increase in people needing help—double the figure for the same period last financial year. 

The emergency relief service delivered from ac.care’s Murray Bridge office also increased support, with the number of clients growing by 28pc from 226 individuals and families in Dec/Jan 2019/20 to 313 for the same period this financial year

The Federal Government has announced that when JobSeeker subsidies end March 31, the welfare payment will be $25 a week more than pre-pandemic payments, bringing it up to $307 a week.

Chief Executive of ac.care, Shane Maddocks (pictured), has raised concerns about the payment not being high enough.

“The government must hear the growing consensus in our society that now is the time to increase JobSeeker long-term to a level that is sustainable and allows all people opportunities to afford basic necessities and climb out of the poverty trap," Mr Maddocks said.

“Otherwise, despite the best efforts of organisations such as ours, increasing numbers of people may be left unable to afford their rent and with nowhere else to go."

His comments align with those of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie (Centre Alliance MP) who is calling for for an independent body to review government payments which remain "woefully inadequate".

Story Jennie Lenman, photo of Shane Maddocks supplied by ac.care.