Plight of Sydney’s homeless

January 6, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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The shortage of suitable housing for the homeless in NSW recently reported in the mainstream press has impacted on the Sydney Jewish community.

The CEO of the Jewish House, Rabbi Mendel Kastel, has told J-Wire that over the last few weeks there have been record calls for help from members of the Jewish community seeking accommodation.

Kastel said: “The Government seems keen to help curb the housing shortage in outlying suburbs where land is plentiful and they can make good inroads. But housing and land is scarce in the areas frequented by Jews and  we have had to put  up as many as we can in the refuge.” He cited more than 15 cases.

The Jewish House is itself a vicitm of the Government’s funding policy for low-cost housing as they have the space to extend the refuge accommodation but as Kastel says “the project would be too small for the Government’s current plans.”

Kastel took pains to point out that those seeking a home were not penniless or seeking charity. “It’s simply a case of there being insufficient appropriate rental properties being available to them. In many cases, a room would suffice.”

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