Media

For media enquiries, please contact our Executive Officer, Adrian Pisarski, on 0417 975 270 or email: adrian.pisarski@shelter.org.au 

Festive season stress for low-income households

National Shelter media release — 7 December 2012

Housing peak National Shelter is alarmed but not surprised by the most recent figures on housing stress, showing low-income households will suffer more than ever this holiday season.

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Housing assistance in Australia 2012, revealed that in 2010, 17% of all households were in housing stress, jumping from 14% in 1995.

The report also revealed that the number of households in severe housing stress (spending more than 50% of household income on housing costs) has increased from 4.6% in 1995 to 5.5% in 2010.

These figures are consistent with the State of Australian Cities 2012 report, which shows households in the lowest income bracket have been particularly at risk of housing stress because the rent-to-income ratio has remained between 28% and 31%.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said because of housing stress, homelessness in Australia is growing: ‘2,265,000 people, or 12.8% of the population, are currently living below the poverty line, including 600,000 children’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘This means that 1 in 8 people overall and 1 in 6 children are living below the poverty line, confirming the need for continued investment in affordable housing. Despite significant investment by the federal government in new affordable housing supply, continued market failure has increased the number of households in housing stress.’

National Shelter believes that state governments around the nation need to meet the federal government’s initiatives on affordable housing to stem the growing number of households in stress.

‘An alarming but not surprising jump in housing stress confirms what tenant advocates and housing providers have been reporting for some years’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘A lack of affordable housing has severe consequences for social and economic productivity’, Mr Pisarski said.

Contacts:
•    Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter Chairperson: 0417 975 270
•    Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584

Roundtable to tackle Tasmania’s affordable housing crisis

National Shelter media release — 21 November 2012

National housing peak National Shelter is calling for the state and federal governments to commit to affordable housing solutions in Tasmania, at a roundtable to be held in Hobart tomorrow, 22 November 2012.

The roundtable, convening to discuss the future of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), aims to hear the different perspectives of government and non-government experts.

18,000 Tasmanian households are in housing stress. For people on low incomes renting privately on pensions and allowances, the figures are concerning — with 58% in Hobart and 52% statewide living in unaffordable housing.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, says these figures are unacceptable and a major contributor to the cost of living pressures on people across Tasmania.

‘Tasmanians are experiencing a housing affordability crisis, with those struggling to pay housing costs at risk of financial hardship and poverty.’   

'It is integral that state and federal governments work together to address this crisis, and reduce the amount of housing pressure currently being experienced in the state.’

The latest ABS data shows that the rate of homelessness has increased in Tasmania from 27.5 persons per 10,000 in 2001, to 31.9 in 2011.

‘Tasmania experiences the highest proportions of homeless persons staying temporarily with other households (hidden homelessness), having improvised dwellings, and that are sleeping out’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘This week we will be encouraging all sides of politics to agree to address Tasmania’s housing challenges with solutions to reduce housing pressure and homelessness.

‘This includes the continued investment in affordable housing programs such as the National Rental Affordable Scheme (NRAS) and the growth fund for social housing.’

Shelter Tasmania’s Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg, commends the Tasmanian Government on its delivery of 1400 new affordable homes since 2009 and its recommitment to continue the National Partnership on Homelessness for the next year.

‘With the recent census data showing an 38.1% increase in homelessness in Tasmania, the biggest increase of any state or territory we need to find ways to get more housing built and delivered to those who need it most and prevent homelessness.’

Contacts

Challenge accepted! Housing peak thrilled at states’ NPA commitment

National Shelter media release — 16 November 2012

National housing peak National Shelter welcomes the commitment by states and territories to continue the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Homelessness for the next year.  

This commitment comes after today’s Select Council on Housing and Homelessness Ministers in Brisbane. 

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

Chair of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, says he is delighted with the result: ‘We are delighted to welcome the state and federal governments’ commitment to continue funding the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness for another year.’

‘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.’

Adrian Pisarski also 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 the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), we fear the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) is overseeing the decline of affordable housing in Australia, particularly social housing’, Mr Pisarski said.

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 agreement, 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 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, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584

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

Launch of national housing priorities calls for national housing strategy

National Shelter media release — 30 October 2012

On the eve of the National Housing Conference, National Shelter calls on the federal government to develop a National Housing Strategy.

This is based on the release of National Shelter’s 2012 housing priorities publication, ‘Meeting housing challenges’, today at the National Shelter Council Meeting.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, says the publication showcases just how overdue a housing strategy is.

‘More than one in 10 Australian households will experience housing stress this year, and yet the last national housing strategy was developed in 1991’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘In the last 21 years significant changes have occurred in the Australian housing market, including changes in government policy, structural changes in the economy and the introduction of the GST.’

Key recommendations from the 2012 National Shelter policy priorities include :

  • The Australian government increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) by 30%
  • The Australian government commit to an ongoing program of 50,000 NRAS incentives doubling to 100,000 after 2016
  • The Australian state and territory governments commit to the delivery of an extra 200,000 social and affordable rental dwellings by 2021.
  • The Australian, state and territory governments commit to the continuation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness beyond 2013
  • The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) embed the National Affordable Housing Agreement as a permanent part of its decision-making, and expand it to include all forms of housing assistance.

National Shelter encourages all sides of politics to agree to address Australia’s housing challenges through the continued investment in affordable housing programs such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and a growth fund for social housing.

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