OLDER WOMEN EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS NEED HELP NOT TURNBULL'S CUTS

1 May 2017

Today's report in the Daily Telegraph of increasing numbers of older women facing homelessness demonstrates the effects of the Abbott and Turnbull government cuts to homelessness funding.

OLDER WOMEN EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS NEED HELP NOT TURNBULL'S CUTS

Today's report in the Daily Telegraph of increasing numbers of older women facing homelessness demonstrates the effects of the Abbott and Turnbull government cuts to homelessness funding.

There is a rapidly growing cohort of older women on low incomes, with little in the way of superannuation or other assets who are at risk of homelessness as a result of an adverse life event such as divorce, death of a spouse or illness.

The 2016 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia report shows that over 32% of single women over the age of 60 are experiencing income poverty.

The Coalition cut $44 million per year from homelessness funding, in the disastrous 2014-15 Budget. The Coalition also cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which would have seen 50,000 affordable homes built. The result of these funding cuts is clear. 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that homelessness service providers have struggled to help women seeking assistance. 

The number of clients whose short-term and emergency accommodation needs could not be met by homelessness services in 2014-15, when the Liberals made their cuts, was 23,150.

By the following year it was 29,073, an increase of 25 percent. The vast majority of those clients are women.

A week ago, Labor announced that it will provide $88 million over two years for a Safe Housing Fund to increase the availability of transitional housing options for women and children escaping family and domestic violence and for older women on low incomes with few assets facing homelessness.

While the Turnbull government have is hopelessly divided and obsesses over phoney issues like ‘good debt’ and ‘bad debt’, Labor has a clear commitment to preventing homelessness and helping women in need.

SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017