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Tweed Shire Council was one of the first local governments in New South Wales to adopt a Homelessness Policy in 2015. Council recently completed a review of its homelessness policy and a new policy was adopted on 12 December 2018.

We are committed to this significant social issue impacting our local community. Council often has a complex role in balancing community needs and expectations, its regulatory responsibilities and respecting and honouring people's rights.

In 2011 on Census night an estimated 308 persons identified as homeless in Tweed. In 2016 this increased to 444 persons. In 2011, across Tweed, 14% were classified as primary homeless (rough sleepers). In 2016 this increased to 48% (ABS 2016). The primary reasons people are homeless in NSW are:

  • 65% - Accommodation issues
  • 53% - Financial issues
  • 48% - Domestic violence and relationship issues
  • 35% - Other reasoning
  • 27% - Health reasons including mental health issues and substance abuse

Council, in partnership with the housing and homelessness sector and other tiers of government, is committed to a collaborative and collective impact approach with the aim to shift the trajectory for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Council's Homelessness Policy outlines principles and actions it will take across the following areas in its aim to prevent and reduce homelessness:

  • education and advocacy
  • facilitation and coordination
  • Council services and compliance
  • land-use planning
  • monitoring and research.

Committees, interagency, networks and working groups

Council provides Secretariat support to the Tweed Shire Housing and Homelessness Network which aims to build an innovative and integrated housing and homeless service system in the Tweed Shire, through maximising opportunities to address homelessness and housing needs at all levels, including government, service providers, community and those most at risk in our region.

Meetings occur on the first Thursday of every month commencing at 9.30am to 11.30am rotating between Murwillumbah Community Centre and The Family Centre, Tweed Heads. New members are welcome Ph: 02 6670 2400.

Events and activities supported

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Youth Homelessness Matters Day, held each year during National Youth Week, aims to raise public awareness about youth homelessness and celebrate the resilience of young people who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness in Australia.

Anti-Poverty Week

Anti-Povery Week is held in October each year with a range of activities provided which aim to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas.

Policy and strategic documents

A range of policies and strategic documents are used to guide engagement and planning for homeless people across the Tweed. These include the Community Profile, Census data, Issues Papers, Policies and Community Strategic Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the local contacts for homelessness?

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