Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]

FORUM ADDRESSES THE ISSUE OF OLDER WOMEN – THE GROWING FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

August 13, 2018

FORUM ADDRESSES THE ISSUE OF OLDER WOMEN – THE GROWING FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

A forum has heard the traditional stereotype of homelessness is being turned on its head, with women over 60 now among the most at-risk groups in our community.

Close to 100 people attended the Windsor forum during National Homelessness Week, hosted by Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman with guest speakers Shadow Minister for Homelessness, Senator Doug Cameron and Jenny Ranft from Wentworth Housing.

Senator Doug Cameron said the number of concerned citizens in attendance demonstrated that in the Hawkesbury, there is an understanding of the debilitating effects of homelessness.

“Many homeless people have led productive lives until circumstances outside their control condemned them to couch surfing, living in overcrowded and unsuitable accommodation or living from the back of a car,” Senator Cameron said.

“Domestic violence, marriage breakups, gambling addiction, poverty and inequality can all contribute to homelessness,” he said.

“It’s is an issue we take very seriously and as such, we have a credible suite of policies to combat homelessness and improve housing affordability including reinstating a Minister for Housing and Homelessness and providing $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing Fund,” he said.

Ms Templeman said that while homelessness affected all ages and genders, the numbers of older women couch-surfing and sleeping in cars had almost doubled over the past four years – and the Hawkesbury was not immune.

“The statistics are grim. This is an issue we need to address now,” Ms Templeman said. “The Hawkesbury is not exempt from these trends and it is important for us to be having this conversation.”

“Older women can find themselves homeless after leading what most would consider a ‘normal’ life,” she said.  “Often they’ve raised families, been financially independent and had regular jobs throughout their lives.

“One of the big challenges is how do we respond to the fact that older women experience homelessness differently, and that homelessness among these women is frequently undercounted.

“Senator Cameron has been a leader in raising this issue as a major policy concern, and it was incredibly valuable to hear the perspective from the coal face through Jenny Ranft from Wentworth Housing.

“The forum heard many suggestions and insights from local residents and community organisations,” she said. “It was wonderful to see so many people who care about this issue and who are willing to try and be part of the solution.

“I will continue to make this issue a priority here in the Hawkesbury and thank all those who took the time to be a part of this important conversation,” she said.

MONDAY 13 AUGUST, 2018

SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL NEWSLETTER