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Emma Barnes, Chris Hartley, Thomas Writer
A new research report evaluates the NSW Government’s provision of temporary accommodation to people sleeping rough in the inner city of Sydney during the initial wave of the pandemic in 2020.
More than temporary? An evaluation of the accommodation of people sleeping rough in inner-city Sydney during the COVID-19 pandemic was produced by the Centre for Social Impact UNSW and Homelessness NSW, following interviews with key organisations involved in the temporary accommodation response, including government departments, specialist homelessness services, and local Health departments in Sydney.
Interviews were also conducted with people previously living rough who were moved into temporary accommodation.
Findings show that the NSW Government’s temporary housing of people who were sleeping rough in inner-city Sydney was a significant achievement and one that was an important and effective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst a highly vulnerable cohort.
However, the report also highlights several significant limitations with the approach adopted in inner-city Sydney, including delays between when the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in NSW and when a response was implemented to rough sleepers by the NSW Government.