Meeting housing needs: media releases

Onus now on states to meet O’Connor’s homelessness challenge

National Shelter media release —  14 November 2012

National housing peak National Shelter welcomes Minister O’Connor’s commitment to continue the National Partnership Agreement (NPA), on homelessness for the next year.  

This commitment comes ahead of the Select Council of Housing Ministers meeting in Brisbane on Friday, and firmly puts the focus on state government to match this commitment to ending homelessness in Australia.

The Select Council is comprised of federal Minister Brendan O’Connor, and housing ministers from Australia’s states and territories.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, says that while significant investment has been made in affordable housing in recent years, it is important to commit to continued investment.

'Despite record spending from stimulus and NRAS, we fear the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) is overseeing the decline of affordable housing in Australia, particularly social housing', Mr Pisarski said.

'We are delighted to welcome the federal government’s commitment to continue funding the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness for another year, and encourage the state governments to meet this commitment.'

'This is significant given that earlier this week the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on the rise in the numbers of homeless people across Australia.'

At their last meeting in August, the Ministers wrote to the Standing Council on Federal Finance Relations indicating their interest in providing input into the review of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA).

National Shelter welcomes this token, and calls on Ministers to commit to the future of affordable housing in Australia through a revised National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) that includes:

  • All programs that deliver more affordable housing, such as Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) and the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)
  • An operational subsidy for affordable housing funded on a per-dwelling basis
  • An affordable housing growth fund allocated on a per-capita basis for the delivery of further affordable housing
  • A commitment to an additional 50,000 NRAS incentives
  • Joint funding from the Commonwealth and states/territories
  • Clear linkages with urban planning outcomes and taxation reform.

For more information, please see National Shelter’s housing priorities.

Contacts:

  • Emma Greenhalgh, National Shelter Project Manager: 0402 927 243
  • Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter Chairperson: 0417 975 270
  • Joanna Carson, Queensland Shelter Communications Officer: 0418 718 584

TAAS services saved by federal minister

National Shelter media release — 3 October 2012

National Shelter congratulates the federal government for providing 3.3 million dollars to enable the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service to continue in Queensland.

In a statement today the Gillard Government announced they will provide emergency funding for the Queensland TAAS until June 2013.

The tenants’ services would otherwise have closed this month, after their funding had been cut by the state government in July.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, is pleased to see the federal government take the lead to restore funding cut by the Newman government.

‘These services save the governments more than they cost, and we have always maintained that cutting these services was a short-sighted decision.’

Mr Pisarski also said that TAASQ is vital in preventing homelessness and maintaining households in their current rental property.

‘Tenancy advice services help 70,000 households per year to negotiate the private rental market’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘It stops people becoming homeless, and it keeps people off public housing wait lists.’

National Shelter is hopeful that this move by the federal government secures the long-term future of tenancy advice services.

 

 

Survey crack in Labor’s halving homelessness dream

National Shelter media release — 15 August 2011

It is expected this year’s Census will show a dramatic decrease in Australia’s homelessness population, but community sector research reveals a different reality.

The latest Community Sector Survey by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) shows homelessness and housing service providers are busier than ever.

Key outcomes from the survey include :

  • 21% of all service providers experience the greatest increase in demand from the area of housing and homelessness
  • 22% of service providers turned away the highest numbers of people seeking housing and homelessness support
  • 34% of service providers profiled those seeking housing and homelessness support to be aged between 15–24.

Most concerning however, is that 87% of all service providers said housing and homelessness was the greatest area of high and unmet need.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said these results show that the federal government’s housing and homelessness are not keeping pace with cost of living pressures.

‘This research shows service providers are being stretched thinner and thinner — and are increasingly unable to provide support to those in need.’

‘A third of all people seeking homelessness and housing support are young people, showing that adequate housing is becoming an impossible dream for younger generations.’

National Shelter believes more support for long?term housing strategies and doubling the National Rental Affordability Scheme are key to reducing pressure on homelessness.

‘For the Gillard government to stay true to their word and halve homelessness by 2020, a substantial and sustained funding initiative is required.'

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email: eo@qshelter.asn.au

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: comms@qshelter.asn.au