Homelessness Targets Should be a Cross-Party Priority

ACOSS has called on all parties to affirm their support for the Federal Government’s targets and strategy to reduce homelessness.

ACOSS welcomed the homelessness targets when they were announced in December 2008 and supports the strategy outlined in the government’s white paper on homelessness, The Road Home.

“Given the economic downturn, and an expected rise in homelessness, it is vital that our attention remains on assisting the most vulnerable in our community,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“ACOSS calls for a cross-party commitment to halve homelessness by 2020 so that more Australians have a safe place to sleep.

“Homeless Australians need to know that their fate doesn’t hang on an election outcome.

“We applaud the Prime Minister’s decision to give priority to reducing homelessness as one of his first announcements on taking office.

“Homelessness services are reporting a huge demand for crisis accommodation and it is vital there is a long-term commitment to prevent and respond to homelessness by supporting specialist services.

“Substantial investment in affordable housing and a strong social housing system are key to achieving the 2020 homelessness targets.”

ACOSS has strongly supported the government’s stimulus spending of $6 billion on social housing to build 19,200 dwellings as a first step to reducing the drastic shortfall in affordable dwellings.

We have also called for a future growth fund for housing with a down-payment of $750 million in the coming federal budget and sustained long-term ongoing funding.

To alleviate the stress on private renters, and help prevent homelessness, we have also called for a 30% increase in the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155