Cities release homelessness plan
The cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo today launched their 2022/23-2025/26 Regional Homelessness Plan.
Developed over two years, the plan replaces the Regional Homelessness Plan 2018/19 – 2021/22 and is a framework that will guide the cities’ response to homelessness with milestones for action.
Homelessness is a growing area of concern in the northern metropolitan area and one that goes beyond the public perception of sleeping rough.
Homelessness includes those who are sleeping in cramped living conditions, temporary accommodation or “couch surfing.” It is estimated that for every one rough sleeper, there are eight others who are inadequately housed.
Of the 370,000 people who live within the boundaries of Joondalup and Wanneroo, recent statistics show that more than 1,800 are experiencing some level of homelessness.
With the pressure on rental accommodation and increased cost of living pressures, that number could rise.
The two cities worked closely with the Joondalup Wanneroo Ending Homelessness Group (JWEHG) to review the previous iteration of the plan.
The 2025/26 Regional Homelessness Plan retains many of the goals and focus areas including its three key pillars:
- Building community capacity, understanding and engagement;
- Prevention and early intervention; and
- Responding to homelessness.
Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said homelessness is an issue that cannot be solved by one group or organisation alone.
“Homelessness knows no boundaries and the cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo will continue to work together to tackle this very complex issue,” he said.
“Our role as local governments is one of coordination, support, and advocacy – in collaboration and partnership with the State and Federal Government, homeless support services, community organisations and other relevant stakeholders.
“Access to housing is a basic human need. Sometimes all it takes is a change in circumstances and any one of us could become homeless.
“Only by working together can we bring positive and long-lasting results to the northern metropolitan region.”
Wanneroo Deputy Mayor Brett Treby said the joint plan created a clear path for the cities to help address homelessness in the region.
“As with other issues facing our community, effectively addressing homelessness in our region requires a collaborative approach,” he said.
“The partnership between our cities, and the support of local service providers, ensures our efforts to address this complex issue will not be duplicated, but enhanced.
“With a growing number of people experiencing hardship and finding themselves in vulnerable situations due to housing affordability, scarcity of rental options and financial pressures, it is critical that we continue to work with relevant stakeholders to help connect people to services and support.
“Building on the work of the previous plan, I am hopeful this new iteration will help further increase community awareness and understanding, ensure people are treated with dignity and respect and, most importantly, focus efforts on early intervention and prevention measures to help reduce the likelihood of homelessness.”
Both cities will oversee the implementation, review, evaluation and reporting of the plan in their respective Local Government areas.
The launch was held during Homelessness Week (Monday 1 August – Sunday 7 August) and was part of the Local Government Homelessness Knowledge Hub launch event.
The new Knowledge Hub, a Shelter WA initiative in partnership with WA Local Government Association and Local Government Professionals WA, is a place for local governments to share information and to inform evidence-based homelessness solutions that respond to local community needs. The Regional Homelessness Plan was showcased as an example of best practice in the sector.