An alliance of housing and homelessness community organisations has called for all parties to support a bipartisan national plan to end homelessness by 2030.
The Everybody’s Home campaign is calling for a comprehensive plan that addresses all the causes of homelessness, including the chronic lack of social housing, poverty and family violence.
Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said governments had dropped the ball on homelessness since a 2008 commitment to halving homelessness by 2020.
Ms Colvin said the Launch Housing Homelessness Monitor released today quantifies for the first time what is driving growing homelessness rates in Australia, and our national response over the past decade.
“The Homelessness Monitor shows we’re seeing more people of every generation homeless, and more people being forced to sleep rough,” Ms Colvin said.
“It shows that punitive welfare policies and the inadequacy of Newstart and rising housing costs are forcing more people in to poverty.”
Ms Colvin also cited successive decreases in social housing investment and women fleeing domestic violence as factors that led to thousands of people becoming “vulnerable or at risk of homelessness.”
She said Launch Housing’s Homelessness Monitor is a direction marker for what needs to be included in national a plan to address homelessness, including 500,000 more social and affordable homes.
“We need to take the lead from New Zealand, and pledge to rapidly rehouse people who are homeless and help them keep them in that housing,” Ms Colvin said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden recently announced that her government would use $100 million in emergency funding to house all of New Zealand’s homeless population during the coming winter. Ms Arden has said that it was “unacceptable” that anyone should be without a home during the coldest nights of the year.
“It’s time every side of Parliament put politics aside to make sure everybody in Australia has a home,” Ms Colvin said.
The Everybody’s Home campaign unites the not for profit housing, homelessness, and community sectors with the nation’s largest charities in calling for fixes to Australia’s housing system. Uniting is one of the campaign partners.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor