Two hundred and sixty people are turned away from homeless services every single day, according to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released today.
The number of people trying to access special homelessness services has increased by 3000 in the last financial year to 95,300. The actual number is probably even higher, given this only includes people who approach special homelessness services.
The Homelessness Monitor released in October estimated that at the height of the pandemic, 33,000 people who were sleeping rough, couch surfing or in shelters were provided with a bed in one of the many empty motel and hotel rooms in our big cities.
This shows that, if we really want to, we can significantly reduce the number of homeless Aussies sleeping rough. But unfortunately, many of these Australians are now back on the street.
There is a real need for more social and affordable housing. A lot of the social housing we have also needs urgent repairs and basic maintenance.
Despite spending $100 billion on infrastructure in the Budget, the Morrison Government couldn’t find one extra cent for social housing.
When JobKeeper ends in March and JobSeeker goes back to $40 a day, there is a real risk the number of homeless Aussies will rise further.
NCOSS report A Wave of Disadvantage predicts homelessness rates will jump by 24 per cent across NSW by June next year and by more the 40 per cent in regional NSW.
State governments are doing some important work here. But we also need national leadership.
It’s time the Prime Minister made homelessness a priority for the National Cabinet.
FRIDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: ARLEY BLACK 02 9790 2466