23 March 2015
The Australian Council of Social Service today strongly welcomed the Federal Government announcement to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) for two years.
“This is certainly excellent news, providing vital services some security at a time of great funding uncertainty,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“In doing so the government has recognised that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness.”
“Over 10,000 of the 254,000 people who turned to homelessness services for help last year were young people presenting alone, and more than 13,000 were children in families.
“We must however not neglect other groups affected by homelessness, including those sleeping rough, couch surfing or living in overcrowded dwellings.
“We also must not ignore the structural drivers of homelessness and the need for more secure and sustainable funding arrangements into the future, including adequate indexation.
“The shortage in affordable housing in our major cities is leading more people into homelessness, a point peak housing groups will be making to federal representatives in Canberra tomorrow.
“The combined cuts of around $1 billion in community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services in the last Federal budget has created enormous uncertainty and has already reduced the ability of services to support people in most need.
“We will not accept further cuts to payments and supports for people on low incomes to pay for essential services.
“In our recent Budget submission ACOSS identified savings and revenue measures to pay for community services. We urge the Government to look to wasteful and poorly targeted spending to balance the budget, including tax expenditures which are mainly benefitting those on high incomes,” Dr Goldie said.
Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155
ACOSS Budget Submission