Accommodation for homeless people is almost at capacity in Sydney's CBD, new data shows.
The results of the most recent snapshot of Sydney's homeless population, released on Saturday, shows the number of people sleeping rough has dropped nine per cent to 244, compared to August 2018.
But the use of beds in crisis and temporary housing has leapt 20 per cent to 592 - just 38 beds short of capacity.
"Sadly, it is no secret that homelessness has reached a crisis point in NSW," Alex Greenwich, state member for Sydney, said in a statement.
"The latest street count results prove once again that people are seeking help, but that the system is at capacity - we need to provide safe and affordable homes in order to truly stop the cycle of homelessness in our state."
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the high level of bed occupancy showed the outreach services run by government and non-profits were working.
But numbers would remain high unless more stable, long-term, affordable housing was provided she said.
"These figures tell us that people experiencing homelessness are seeking help, and know where to find the services that can offer them a bed or a free meal for the night, but these are temporary solutions to a systemic crisis," she said.
"We cannot allow Sydney to become an enclave for the rich. We need a diverse range of housing to accommodate our diverse community."
The count took place in the early hours of Tuesday, August 6.
City of Sydney has been counting its population in February and August for more than 10 years.
Communities Minister Gareth Ward, who took part in the latest count, said it was encouraging to see a drop in the number of rough sleepers, and praised the efforts of the assertive outreach teams.
"But of course, there is still more work to be done," he said.
"The reality is that across the state, homelessness is an issue."
Street counts will be trialled in Newcastle, Tweed Heads and western NSW later in 2019 with a statewide count planned for February 2020.
More than 8000 Australians were sleeping rough and another 38,000 were sleeping in supported accommodation or boarding houses on Census night in 2016, the Bureau of Statistics says.
Australian Associated Press