Meeting housing needs: news

Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program grants available

New Commonwealth funding is available to help older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in outer regional, remote and very remote areas of Australia. Applications for funding under the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program (ACHA) close on September 21. The ACHA program supports older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, through linking them with housing and care services. Read about the ACHA grants.

National social housing survey indicates tenant satisfaction

On August 6, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the 2010 state and territory results from the ‘National social housing survey’. The report states that 79% of community housing tenants were satisfied with the services provided by their housing provider, and 73% of public housing tenants were so satisfied. Read the report.

Home Energy Saver Scheme commences

For four years from July 1, the Home Energy Saver Scheme will be providing advice and support on reducing energy costs for low-income households. The scheme covers information, advice, advocacy and support on energy efficiency, as well as referrals to the No Interest Loans Scheme, and it will be delivered by not-for-profit organisations that provide financial counselling services. It is part of the Commonwealth Government’s climate change plan, Securing a Clean Energy Future. Read more details.

Commonwealth Government releases response to homelessness legislation inquiry report

On June 20, the Commonwealth Government released its response to Housing the homeless — the report on the inquiry into homelessness legislation by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth which was tabled in 2009. In the response, the government stated that it agrees ‘in principle’ with committing to an adequate supply of appropriate accommodation for people who are experiencing homelessness; however, it noted that state and territory government policies strongly influence the availability of affordable housing. See the government’s response to Housing the homeless.

Exposure draft of Commonwealth Homelessness Bill released

The Commonwealth Government released an exposure draft of a Homelessness Bill 2012 on June 5, and is seeking feedback by August 3. The draft legislation sets out a definition of homelessness, service delivery outcomes and strategies to reduce homelessness. It also specifies that the Commonwealth’s ‘aspiration’ is that all Australians have access to adequate housing. Increasing the supply of affordable housing is listed as one of the strategies to reduce homelessness. The proposed legislation will replace the Commonwealth Supported Accommodation Assistance Act 1994. Read the exposure draft of the Homelessness Bill.