Rural SA women without a home

New research by YWCA National Housing has revealed eight per cent of women in regional South Australia have been homeless in the past five years. Photo: File.
New research by YWCA National Housing has revealed eight per cent of women in regional South Australia have been homeless in the past five years. Photo: File.

New research has revealed eight per cent of women in regional South Australia have been homeless in the past five years.

The study, conducted by YWCA National Housing, surveyed 1039 regional Australian women living on low to moderate incomes.

The survey aimed to determine accessibility to affordable housing, and at the time the study was conducted in late 2019, 1.7 per cent of the regional SA participants were homeless.

One in five of the South Australian participants in the Women's Housing Needs in Regional Australia report also knew at least one other woman currently without a home.

YWCA National Housing and Property Development Director Jan Berriman said regional South Australia has a "housing crisis", with the current report showing more people were homeless than previous studies.

"This is the first national study of women's access to housing outside the nation's capital cities and it clearly shows an urgent need for more safe, secure and affordable accommodation," Ms Berriman said.

"One quarter of women who had been homeless, either in the past five years or currently, did not share their situation with any family member or friend, reflecting the likelihood of a much higher level of homelessness than previously understood."

While South Australia had the lowest number of regional women who said they had been homeless in the last five years compared to other states, at eight per cent.

The nation-wide average was 12pc, and 30pc of the women had sacrificed meals and 44pc did not use heating or cooling to be able to afford housing.

Ms Berriman said larger scale affordable housing options must be created to meet demand across regional Australia.

"Government, philanthropic, corporate and community organisations need to partner to create and increase the supply of social and affordable housing options whilst funding housing support services across the country," she said.

At the District Council of Yankalilla's May meeting, councillor Alistair Christie asked if council could create public housing in the area.

The response was, "Council has the ability to develop and fund their own public housing, fund a joint venture with an existing provider or provide contributions towards an existing provider".

See the YWCA National Housing report at ywcahousing.org.au/research

This story Rural SA women without a home first appeared on The Times.

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