ACOSS: Reports of NAHA axing ‘alarming’

ACOSS has joined National Shelter and other housing groups expressing alarm over media reports that the Federal Government will axe the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) in the May Budget.

“If the reports are accurate this would be a betrayal by the Commonwealth of a vital essential funding program which supports some of the most disadvantaged people in our community. It includes crucial funding for a significant proportion of all the homelessness services in Australia,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

“The community sector has consistently advised the Federal Government that the NAHA needed strengthening and redesign, including greater accountability. Abolishing it – and without consultation – would be an astonishing response.

“It would make no sense for the Commonwealth to abandon its responsibility to fund essential social housing and homelessness services at a time when people living on the streets is at crisis levels and housing affordability a chronic problem.

“ACOSS and others have long called for a national plan which supports social housing, homelessness and addresses housing affordability more generally through attracting private and public investment and broader reforms of planning, taxation and tenant rights at state levels. We cannot rely purely on private investment in this area.”

“We would expect that any major change in funding in such a crucial area would be made in consultation with the community and expert groups working with and representing people on the very lowest incomes who are in desperate need of housing support,” Dr Goldie said.

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