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Dec 18, 2012

Housing inaction forces families to rely on homelessness support

New government research has shown the continued high demand for homelessness services in Australia, and highlighted the need for the Government to address the causes of pressure on homelessness services, according to Australians for Affordable Housing.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Specialist Homelessness Services 2011-12 report has shown that almost 230,000 vulnerable people received support from 1,453 agencies in 2011-12. On average, about 19,000 people were accommodated each night in specialist homelessness services accommodation for an average of 82 nights per client.

“This report shows that not only is domestic violence contributing to families seeking homeless services, but financial difficulties and the ongoing housing crisis also feature as the most common reasons for seeking assistance from specialist homelessness services.” said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.

“The number of families seeking homelessness assistance services starkly highlights the importance of the Federal Government addressing the decades of under-investment in social housing. Access to affordable housing keeps families and their children out of housing stress and homelessness, and provides a pathway out of temporary accommodation and support.” Joel Pringle said.

The report also shows the critical importance of the States and Territories committing to the ongoing funding of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

“Its time for the states and territories to stop mucking around and to provide the funding for a new partnership agreement, ending the uncertainty for the many homelessness services that support families in crisis” said Joel Pringle.

“Rents continue to rise as families stuck on social housing waiting lists are forced to rely on private rental markets that simply can’t deliver housing at prices that are affordable. Access to affordable housing is a key element to keeping families out of crisis.”

“We need to see affordable housing strategies agreed on and delivered if we are going to address this housing crisis,” said Joel Pringle. “All levels of government need to provide direct funding for social housing to clear the backlog of under-investment.”

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

For enquiries and interviews contact Joel Pringle, 0427 563 989
Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed


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