Page MP Janelle Saffin has announced more than $109,800 for research into homelessness and strategies to address it in the Northern Rivers.

The funding will be provided to the Northern Rivers Social Development Council, a community-based, not-for-profit organisation based in Lismore.

There are high levels of homelessness in the Northern Rivers region, with Census data showing the area accounts for about 15 per cent of primary homelessness in NSW, despite it making up only four per cent of the State’s population.

Ms Saffin said the research project, ‘What to do when city based homelessness models don’t work in the bush’, will examine ways to adapt homelessness models such as Common Ground and Housing First to regional and rural settings. 

“The research will focus on exploring models that provide the best options for high-risk groups in rural and regional settings – families with young children at risk of homelessness and rough sleepers,” she said.

“The local research will form the basis of a report that will make recommendations to improve service delivery in rural and regional communities.

“It is part of $1.5 million in funding for 16 homelessness research projects across Australia, provided under the Australian Government’s $11.4 million National Homelessness Research Agenda.

“It is critical that we build the evidence to guide our efforts and measure our success.

“This research is an important part of the Government’s homelessness reform agenda across Australia as we work towards the goals to halve the rate of homelessness and offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.”