The penny has finally dropped – or, more correctly, pennies.

Maitland has witnessed a major boost this week in meeting the housing needs of low-income earners and the homeless.

On the weekend, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon and the Mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, announced $11.3 million towards the cost of 1300 affordable homes in the central Maitland.

Today, we see the start of a campaign to build a

multi-million dollar complex to alleviate Maitland’s growing homelessness crisis.

Under this program, the Saint Vincent de Paul East Maitland Conference has been named the recipient of a $3 million grant for a multi-purpose complex to be known as William’s Place, a one-stop-shop approach for clients complete with short- and medium-term accommodation.

With existing organisations such as Carrie’s Place turning away 1000 women and children a year, and other care groups in similar predicaments, William’s Place will help ease the incredible burden that exists in this city.

Maitland has been a victim of its own success.

It wears the badge of being one of the fastest growing regional cities in Australia with pride and yet for many people, housing is out of their reach.

As people have spilt over into Maitland from Newcastle and further afield the strain on housing has grown – and become more unaffordable along the way.

Even cashed-up people with jobs moving to the city have found finding a home difficult; spare a thought for low-income earners or the unemployed.

Education and jobs may be the answer. But first the poverty cycle must be broken.

It is near-impossible for a person to attend a learning facility or look for a job when they are of no fixed address and wonder where the next meal is going to come from.

This city will be a better place for these twin


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