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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2359 ..

MS BERRY: I thank the member for the question. I had sought advice again, and I am advised regularly about people who might be sleeping rough in the ACT and the kinds of support available to them. I checked again late last night and early this morning following reports from organisations like Safe Shelter that people were being turned away from accommodation in the ACT. I was advised after I contacted OneLink that there are and have been two vacancies at Samaritan House for men who are experiencing homelessness, so they have not been turning away anyone as was reported by the media today. OneLink and Housing ACT have crisis accommodation available, in the case of women and children who might have experienced domestic and family violence, for temporary accommodation until medium to longer term accommodation can be sought for them.

Sometimes when people might be arriving into the ACT at different times of the evening or early in the morning it might not be possible at that moment in time for Housing ACT to provide that accommodation, but the Domestic Violence Crisis Service can also provide crisis accommodation immediately. Refuges in the ACT also can provide short-term crisis accommodation at the time when the crisis occurs.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, when will you release data about service demand, in particular for the number of people that OneLink are aware of who are sleeping rough or sleeping in cars because they cannot access accommodation services?

MS BERRY: Data on housing in the ACT is available from Housing ACT on vacancies and applications that are made for housing in the ACT, and it is publicly available.

Ms Le Couteur: On a point of order, I did not ask about Housing ACT. I asked about the people that OneLink knows about. She did not answer the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Did you have anymore to add or have you concluded your answer?

MS BERRY: I think there are around 1,700 people in the ACT who have applied for housing. Around 800 of those people are on standard applications. Around 800 are on high needs. Then there are around another 30 who are on priority.

Ms Le Couteur: On a point of order, I asked specifically about OneLink.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Berry, can you provide any response around OneLink’s data?

MS BERRY: OneLink is working very closely with each of those organisations, more than any other housing provider in the country ever has, and knows individually the needs of each of those individual families and seeks to make sure that they are supported in different ways. Providing information on individuals would not be appropriate.

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