Homeless shelter empty while thousands sleep on WA streets

The Labor Government’s response to Western Australia’s homelessness crisis is mired in delays and hollow media statements.
While the Minister for Community Services Simone McGurk has recently trumpeted the design images for the unbuilt Common Ground homeless facility in Perth, the Minister has consistently refused to confirm multiple reports that as many as 70 beds in the new Boorloo Bidee Mia facility are unoccupied.
The 100-bed Boorloo Bidee Mia facility was due to be completed at the end of September in response to the growing number of people sleeping rough on the streets of the Perth CBD and surrounds.
“I have asked the Minister a number of times to confirm or deny reports that Boorloo Bidee Mia is nowhere near full. Why the secrecy?” said Shadow Housing Minister, Hon Steve Martin MLC.
“The Minister is making comments about an unbuilt facility, yet refuses to acknowledge that her Department can’t, or won’t, use the available beds at Boorloo Bidee Mia.
“This latest announcement is just more spin to hide the lack of services readily available for people experiencing homelessness on Perth’s streets.
“It would be a real milestone if more rough sleepers had a bed and roof over their head tonight,” said Mr Martin.
Despite there being almost 18,000 applicants on the public housing waitlist, the Labor Government have sold off over 1,300 public homes in four years.
“The 17,824 applicants on the public housing waitlist need more than meaningless comments from a Labor Government that have consistently over promised and under delivered on housing for years.
“2,000 of these applications have been on the waitlist for over 250 weeks.
“With at least 9,000 Western Australians experiencing homelessness each night, I urge Minister McGurk to come up with real, practical solutions and to fully utilise Boorloo Bidee Mia immediately.” said Mr Martin.