TURNBULL MUST ANNOUNCE FUNDING FOR HOMELESS SERVICES

9 Dec 2016

The Turnbull Government, after a long period of indecision, must restore cuts and extend funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) at tomorrow’s COAG meeting. NPAH is due to expire in June 2017.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

 

TURNBULL MUST ANNOUNCE FUNDING FOR HOMELESS SERVICES

The Turnbull Government, after a long period of indecision, must restore cuts and extend funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) at tomorrow’s COAG meeting. NPAH is due to expire in June 2017.

Mr Turnbull has identified the $50 billion tax handout to foreign multinationals as his biggest priority for 2017. Before giving away billions of taxpayer’s money to the world’s wealthiest, Mr Turnbull should provide the funding to help Australia’s most vulnerable.

The Coalition has already cut $44 million from services such as women’s shelters from the current agreement which gives $115 million in Federal funding to service providers.

Domestic and family violence is a leading cause of homelessness. Failing to provide certainty to homelessness services undermines our nation's ability to help women and children fleeing violence at home.

NPAH funds flow through to 180 organisations providing services to more than 80,000 people a year. Women’s domestic violence shelters, children’s homelessness services and services for people experiencing homelessness in every State and Territory will be affected if funding is not guaranteed.

Services include:

  • Emergency accommodation for women and young people experiencing family violence, such as the Manly Women’s Shelter in Sydney.
  • Assistance accessing longer-term housing services, such as at Adelaide’s Hutt St Centre.
  • Help accessing mental and other health services, as through the Home for Good projects in Brisbane.
  • Support and advice on employment and study preparation and pathways, as at Melbourne City Mission.

 

The Turnbull Government’s indecision over funding is already causing homelessness service providers problems with leasing premises and employees forced to look for more secure work.

Hundreds of homelessness advocates and service providers have signed an open letter to Mr Turnbull calling on him to ensure that people experiencing homelessness get the services they need.

Homelessness services are already under enormous strain after the Coalition’s 2014/15 cuts, with figures showing that up to one in three clients are turned away due to high demand for homelessness assistance.

The Turnbull Government has been hopelessly distracted and divided in the past year and has dropped homelessness as a priority. Despite repeated calls from both the housing industry and homelessness advocates, no Minister for Housing and Homelessness has been appointed.

The Turnbull Government must fund NPAH beyond June 2017 as a first step in addressing the housing and homelessness crisis, to ensure that the most vulnerable Australians are not left behind.

THURSDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2016