DEG and WAMS developed a joint statement about the high levels of homelessness in Walgett 13 July 2023 when we learnt that Homelessness NSW was preparing a campaign. The statement outlined our understanding of the situation, and evidence from our advocacy in the past.
DEG believes that "The current model for providing social housing is broken and must be changed" and outlines in the statement its plans for supported accommodation being developed in Yuwaya Ngarrali with Wiradjuri building designer Samantha Rich.
"Dharriwaa Elders Group and Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service call for local, NSW and
Commonwealth governments to:
- audit the NSW Roads to Home6 program to reduce building contractor rorts and bring
better outcomes for Walgett LALC tenants;
- step in to ensure the building of the new Dept. of Communities and Justice women’s
safe house is urgently resumed so that more women can be supported to independent
living and homeless men can be housed properly and not left in motel rooms without
the meals and other supports they need.
- provide urgent project management and capital supports to community social housing
providers so they can better meet the housing needs of the Walgett Aboriginal
community. This will require ongoing funding to ensure that existing housing stock is
properly maintained, and increased funding for a new, more humane management
business model. Local trades workforce development, and the building of new
culturally-appropriate houses suitable for the climate and long-term conditions are
also urgently required.
- make more land available for social housing and supported accommodation within the
- pro-actively prepare Walgett for climate resilience including the provision of non-profit
community-owned sustainable energy solutions and negotiated insurance premiums
for nonprofit community organisations and community social housing providers.
- fund Dharriwaa Elders Group plans for supported accommodation for Elders, children
and young people and emergency accommodation options for when families are
affected by floods, fire, pandemics and sudden life events rendering them homeless. "