MEDIA RELEASE -14 December 2017
Homelessness figures show crisis worsening
Responding to today’s release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Annual Report on homelessness services NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing, Jenny Leong MP and Australian Greens spokesperson on Housing, Senator Lee Rhiannon have called for an urgent commitment to a housing first approach by state and federal governments.
Jenny Leong MP said:
“The rates of homelessness and demand for affordable housing are increasing at an alarming rate – with this latest report showing that each day 261 requests for housing assistance are unable to be met by services.
“The failure of governments to act in the interests of communities most in need is astounding. Aboriginal people are hugely over-represented - 28% of all people seeking services are aboriginal and in regional areas and there’s been a 16% increase in support requests.
“We see from this report that the proportion of women who are presenting as homeless is now higher than that of males although men are still the highest proportion of homeless. The figures show that domestic and family violence is the driving factor in housing instability and homelessness for women.
“The NSW Liberal government’s approach to homelessness this year has been appalling, they have simply tried to sweep this under the carpet and pretend that it isn’t their problem.
“The Greens are committed to a housing first approach and significant boost to public and affordable housing investment, to ensure people are able to realise their right to have a place to call home.
Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“Twice this year the Senate has supported Greens motions to raise real levels of federal funding for homelessness services and social housing.
“The federal government also refuses to wind back investor tax breaks and protect renters’ rights which would increase the affordability and stability of housing.
“These figures are further evidence that the Turnbull government is choosing to entrench inequality and serve their masters in the property sector, rather than the needs of communities.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Annual Report 2016-2017 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17/contents/contents
Homelessness NSW Media Release on AIHW Report http://www.homelessnessnsw.org.au/sites/homelessnessnsw/files/2016-12/151216_AIHWMedia_Release.pdf