2024 Street Count shows the housing and rental crisis deepening across regional NSW


The number of people sleeping rough in NSW has continued to rise with regional areas experiencing the biggest surge in homelessness in the past year, while metro Sydney has stabilised.

The challenge ahead is made clear by the 2024 Street Count, which found 2037 people sleeping rough compared to 1623 people last year. Street sleeping increase by 1% in City of Sydney and approximately 16% in Byron Bay – which now accounts for the largest number of street sleepers in NSW.

The NSW Government is working to address the worsening housing and rental crisis faced by so many people across the state.

Rising interest rates, cost of living pressures and a shortage of rental homes are just some of the factors that are continuing to drive homelessness and street sleeping.

The NSW Government and Homes NSW are taking action to address rising street sleeping and homelessness by:

  • Addressing short term rental accommodation rules because we know the current rules aren’t working.
  • Delivering more public and social homes and bringing vacant homes back online.
  • Exploring modular housing that is good quality, fast and locally made to support local jobs.
  • Properly supporting Special Homelessness Services (SHS) including extension to Specialist Homelessness Services contract from 2024 to 2026 and moving to 5 year contracts to create more certainty.
  • Removing caps on temporary accommodation so people, especially women and children, have a safe place to stay instead of on the streets.
  • Increasing support for victim-survivors, and expanding the staying home leaving violence program statewide, so victims are able to stay at home and avoid homelessness.

The NSW Government acknowledges there is much more to do to address homelessness and provide homes for people in need.

More than 300 local organisations partnered with the NSW Government to complete street counts in 400 towns and suburbs in 76 local government areas.

The 2024 street count was completed between Thursday 1 February and Friday 1 March 2024 and is published annually.

For more information about how the 2024 Street Count was done and the breakdown of results across NSW, visit the Communities and Justice website.

Minister for Homelessness Rose Jackson said:

“I attended this year’s Street Count along with the CEO of Homes NSW, Rebecca Pinkstone and the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre team. I think it’s important our leaders and Government are on the front line to see first-hand how we collect this data.

“While levels of street sleeping have stabilised in Sydney, we are still seeing an unprecedented increase of homelessness in many of our regional towns. We don’t just need data to tell us this – our regional communities are feeling this every day.

“The sobering street count figures again paint a harrowing picture of homelessness and street sleeping across our state.

“We have been clear – we are looking at every single option to tackle the housing and rental crisis. This includes our wide-ranging review of Short Term Rental Accommodation rules which we are in the process of finalising very soon.

“We know the current Short Term Rental Accommodation rules are having an impact on homelessness and street sleeping, especially in our regions, which is why we are acting.”

/Public Release. View in full here.