$20 million for new mental health housing

Central Coast Labor MPs have confirmed that an elected Minn's Government will invest $20 million over two years to establish three sites for housing with mental health support in NSW.

Mark Heeney from The Haven Foundation (second from left), candidate for Terrigal Sam Boughton (third from left), Shadow Minister Rose Jackson (centre), Member for Gosford L:iel Tesch (front), Neil Murphy (third from right) and residents celebrate the $20 million announcement.

17 March 2023


THE special housing developments will provide people with mental illness and psychological disability access to stable, long-term housing and vital support services.


The housing will be delivered in partnership with the Haven Foundation - and the first one will be located on the Central Coast.


The funding will provide for 16 homes on the Central Coast that will have self-contained kitchens, bathroom and laundry facilities.


By delivering tailored care, closer to home, NSW Labor is strengthening its commitment to support our mental health system and ensure the most vulnerable members of our community are able to access safe and secure housing. We want to ensure those living with a mental illness or disability get the right support, when and where they need it.


The Haven Foundation, a subsidiary of mental health service provider Mind Australia, provides long‑term housing, care and support for people living with severe and enduring mental illness and disability. They currently have multiple sites in Victoria and will soon open one in South Australia.


Mark Heeney, Executive Director Housing Strategy for The Haven Foundation said “Haven residences reduce hospitalisations and homelessness for people with significant mental health challenges.


“These residences enable people with significant long-term mental health issues to lead successful and fulfilling lives in the community.”


Labor’s audit of government land will identify an appropriate site to establish the centres with the property to remain in public hands. The tenant management and support will be provided by The Haven Foundation who have the specialist skills to provide this vital service.


Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader said “Last Friday's announcement forms part of Labor’s broader and comprehensive commitment to deliver a fresh start for housing in NSW.


“This announcement will ensure that some members of the community who experience the most difficulty accessing housing are able to do so.”


Rose Jackson, NSW Shadow Minister for Housing & Homelessness said “People with disabilities or severe mental illness are more likely to experience homelessness and our investment in social and affordable housing for this vulnerable group will change lives.


“For too long the Liberals have neglected the Central Coast, allowing the local housing crisis to go from bad to worse. Labor has a plan to address local housing needs and support the most vulnerable in our community to live secure and independent lives.”


New South Wales is in a housing and rental crisis. The Central Coast is right at the epicentre of this crisis, and it is often the most vulnerable - such as those living with severe mental illness - who find it the most difficult to secure stable housing.


“Labor’s investment in the Central Coast ensures our most vulnerable community members have the support they need,” said David Mehan, Member for The Entrance.


Last Friday's announcement is another in Labor’s plan to address housing supply and affordability including:


  • Introducing a mandatory requirement for 30 per cent of all homes built on surplus government land to be set aside for social, affordable and universal housing;


  • Abolishing the NSW Government’s forever land tax on the family home;


  • Removing or reduce the stamp duty tax burden for 95 per cent of first home buyers over the next three years;


  • Creating Homes NSW;


  • Creating a Rental Commissioner;


  • Baning the practice of secret rent-bidding; and


  • Implementing a Portable Bond Scheme.


And Labor’s commitments to strengthening responses to mental health:


  • Expanding Lifeline’s services with an additional commitment of $8.2 million over five years to increase text and webchat services.


  • Boosting access to mental health services for young people in NSW by committing to $17million to the Kids Helpline over four years to increase their capacity to a rising number of calls.


  • Establishing legislation to enshrine a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention.


Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said “NSW Labor’s investment is tailored to the needs of those on the Central Coast.  That means delivering more services and care that supports people at every stage of living with an illness or disability.”


Sam Boughton, Labor Candidate for Terrigal, said that more housing, particularly for those who have mental health issues, suffer from chronic illness or a disability, is sorely needed on the Central Coast.


"Labor’s funding will deliver homes for some of our most vulnerable Coasties,” he said.

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