Double funding for homelessness services
Every night, right here in one of the richest nations in the world, 105,000 Australians don’t have a place to call home. That’s one in every two hundred people.
More than a quarter are children under 18. Seventy percent of young people who end up homeless are fleeing domestic violence or family breakdown.
Instead of tackling this national disgrace head-on, the Abbott - Turnbull Government cut millions of dollars in funding for homelessness and housing affordability programs in their first budget. They’ve refused to adopt any target or commitment to reduce homelessness.
Beyond a crisis
1500 agencies across the country wholly or partially depend on federal funding to provide specialist services to almost a quarter of a million people. One in every 97 Australians.
But the demand is too great. More than 300 people are turned away from those services every day. Only 6% of people seeking long term accommodation are being housed. This government has failed to act. Meanwhile another generation of kids are on the streets, families are sleeping in cars and support services are overwhelmed, forced to turn people away.
The Greens have a commitment to double the federal funding for homelessness services – for at least the next ten years.
We propose to:
- Double the federal funding for Specialist Homelessness Services provided under the original National Affordable Housing Agreement (and index the funding by 7%), at a cost of $507 million pa; and,
- Sign a new ten year National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and double funding under the original agreement, at a cost of $320 million pa. This funding would be matched by the states, bringing the annual total to $640 million.
The total federal commitment over the next ten years would be $827 million per year which would result in a package worth $1.1 billion per year for homeless services.
This investment will double the capacity of existing, overstretched services. Sorely needed programs like street outreach and 'street to home' schemes will help hundreds of people each day.
This long-term funding commitment will also provide the much-needed security service providers have been crying out for. Thousands of people working on the front line providing emergency support services currently operate on yearly funding; they have no certainty over the future and no capacity to plan and prepare.
We must not turn our backs on people experiencing homelessness, we need to provide certainty and resources to specialist homelessness services. It’s time to help our most vulnerable find shelter and a pathway home.
Homelessness has no place in Australia.