Affordable Housing advocates have welcomed today’s announcement from the Federal Minister for Housing, Brendan O’Connor, at today’s Press Club address that the Commonwealth has committed to one year’s interim funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, subject to matched funds from the states and territories, while a new longer-term Agreement is negotiated..
“ABS figures released this week have shown us that homelessness is on the rise, and we know that underinvestment in affordable housing supply has been a major reason for this” said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.
“Rising homelessness is the flip-side of our national fascination with wealth creation through property investment.”
“If it wasn’t for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, these figures would have been much worse.”
“The number of people experiencing homelessness has increased by 17 per cent over the five years between census collections, at a time when median rents have risen at twice the rate of inflation. It’s not surprise that a shortage of affordable housing has lead to families either relying on support services or over-crowding with family and friends.
“Now that the Commonwealth has stumped up, its time for state and territory governments to get on board. Australians for Affordable Housing is calling for all governments to take ownership of the problem and commit to re-funding the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, which expires at the end of this financial year.”
“Solutions for reducing homelessness will not come from interim year-by-year arrangements, but through an ongoing commitment by all levels of government. Without the ability to undertake long-term planning, the community sector won’t be able to deliver innovative projects such as the Common Ground project in Sydney or the St Bart’s building in East Perth. We are concerned about the uncertainty caused by year-on-year extensions.”
“The different levels of Government now have the opportunity to step back and consider how the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness can facilitate links between families facing homelessness, support programs and affordable housing. Supply of affordable housing is necessary to ensuring these families are not squeezed out of their homes.
Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit www.housingstressed.org.au
For enquiries and interviews contact Joel Pringle, 0427 563 989
Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed
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