RAISING AWARENESS: Noosa MP Sandy Bolton (middle) will participate in the upcoming Vinnies Community Sleepout.
RAISING AWARENESS: Noosa MP Sandy Bolton (middle) will participate in the upcoming Vinnies Community Sleepout. Caitlin Zerafa

Noosa MP to rough it for homelessness awareness

SHE'S been known to take in the homeless and this year Noosa MP Sandy Bolton will again do her part to help locals without permanent housing.

As an ambassador for the Vinnies Community Sleepout, Ms Bolton will take her swag to Maroochydore Beach on August 8 to raise money and awareness for the housing crisis locally.

It is estimated nearly 1600 Sunshine Coast residents are without permanent accommodation each night.

"The work of these charity organisations in providing awareness, assistance and emergency accommodations is essential and deeply appreciated by all,” Ms Bolton said.

"However, these works were never meant to be ongoing, and as an MP, I am seeing band aids being used to alleviate symptoms in many realms instead of sourcing solutions.”

Ms Bolton first spoke on the homeless issue five years ago as a Noosa councillor but said the way to solve the problem required involvement from all levels of government.

"Within that time, we have searched for sites to develop a Noosa pilot in conjunction with community housing developers and Noosa residents,” Ms Bolton said.

"We have brilliant designers, programs and organisations that when connected can create real-time solutions and at the same time support the increase of much needed employment.

"All we need is some land with the same zoning as a caravan park, or the potential to do a material change of use, so we can get on with the job, and we are that much closer.”

One suggested site included the abandoned Noosa TAFE were parts of the property could be used to create an education and living precinct.

Ms Bolton said housing difficulty could cause a ripple effect.

"Every resident should find what is currently happening unacceptable in all forms.”

"This includes impacts to workers, families and businesses and also the decreasing mental and physical wellbeing from stress, alcohol and drug dependency.

"Not having affordable housing options is costing taxpayers more in the fallout, than to address.”

Visit vinniesqld.grassrootz.com/2019-vinnies-community-sleepout-sunshine-coast/sandy-bolton-mp to donate.