CUTS TO HOMELESSNESS FUNDING MAKE TACKLING FAMILY VIOLENCE HARDER

28 Oct 2016

Without action on homelessness, the Turnbull Government’s family violence package is woefully inadequate.

CUTS TO HOMELESSNESS FUNDING MAKE TACKLING FAMILY VIOLENCE HARDER

 

Without action on homelessness, the Turnbull Government’s family violence package is woefully inadequate.

 

The details of the $30 million in funding announced today is dwarfed by the $88 million cut from the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness – ignoring the reality that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness.

 

It is a minute to midnight for the continued viability of homelessness service providers and the Turnbull Government has failed to commit to providing any funds for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) beyond June 2017. NPAH provides up to 30 per cent of the budget of homelessness service providers across the nation.

 

Some of the services at risk include:

 

  • crisis accommodation for women and children leaving situations of family violence;

 

  • assistance with finding long-term housing;

 

  • early intervention programs for families at risk of becoming homeless;

 

  • programs to reconnect homeless young people with their families; and

 

  • referrals to employment and other support services.

 

Homelessness is a growing problem – the latest figures show that 256,000 Australians sought assistance from homelessness services, up from 236,000 the year before. Services are groaning under the weight of demand. Homelessness services turn away 329 people every day who seek help because they don’t have the resources.[1]

 

Failing to commit to funding NPAH beyond June 2017 means that Australians at risk of homelessness have fewer places to turn when faced with crisis situations such as domestic violence.

 

Service providers report that NPAH funding uncertainty is causing difficulties in taking on new clients, because they cannot be sure they will be able to continue to help them beyond June 2017. Service providers are also finding it difficult to retain staff and premises without funding certainty.

 

Until it addresses these issues, and funds NPAH beyond 2017, the Turnbull Government cannot claim that it is taking the family violence crisis seriously.

 

FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2016

[1] AIHW, SHS data 2014-15  http://www.aihw.gov.au/homelessness/specialist-homelessness-services-2014-15/