On 3 March 2013, Mark Butler, MP, Commonwealth Minister for Housing and Homelessness, announced that the Australian Government will offer $159 million towards a transitional funding arrangement under a National Partnership on Homelessness for 2013–14, to be matched by states and territories. This will include funding for homelessness services and for capital projects to help people move from homelessness into housing.
Meeting housing needs: news
The National Mental Health Commission released its first report card on mental health and suicide prevention on November 27. Its recommendations include that no-one should be discharged from hospitals, custodial care, mental health, or drug and alcohol-related treatment services into homelessness, and that access to stable and safe places to live must increase for people living with mental health issues. Read the report card.
On November 16, the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Housing and Homelessness agreed that the ministers would commence negotiations for a new National Partnership on Homelessness, subject to their Cabinet processes. The ministers also agreed to work on a one-year transitional partnership agreement for 2013–14 while the new agreement was being negotiated. Read the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness communiqué.
On 14 November 2012, the Commonwealth Government announced its commitment to provide half the funding for a new National Partnership on homelessness with the states and territories. The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Brendan O’Connor, stated that in a speech at the National Press Club that the federal government was committed to providing half the funding for the next financial year, while a new agreement with matched funding from the states and territories was being negotiated. The minister stated that the new agreement would based on principles of prevention, early intervention and breaking the cycle of homelessness, and would include tenancy advice and support. See the National Press Club speech detailing the announcement.
A report issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on November 12 has found that between census nights in 2006 and 2011, there was an increase in the homelessness rate by 8% across Australia. As at 2011, there were estimated to be 105,237 homeless people in Australia. Most of the increase in homelessness between 2006 and 2011 was attributable to people living in severely crowded dwellings: an increase of 31% for Australia. There was also a marked rise in the number of people living in crowded dwellings who may be at risk of homelessness: a 41% increase for Australia. Read the report.