On 2 May 2013, the Australian National Audit Office released its report on the implementation of the National Partnership on Homelessness. The report found that despite the expenditure of over $1.1 billion by Commonwealth and state/territory governments under the national partnership, reaching the target of a 7 per cent reduction in homelessness by 1 July 2013 will be unlikely to be achieved. The report also noted that a payment structure in any longer-term homelessness agreement that is more closely related
On 11 April 2013, the Commonwealth Government released an exposure draft of a Bill to establish a Housing Payment Deduction Scheme. The proposed scheme provides for tenants of public housing and state-owned and managed Aboriginal housing who are in arrears or at risk of arrears to have their rent compulsorily deducted from their Centrelink benefits. The scheme aims to prevent evictions and possible homelessness, and to reduce the cost of managing arrears. The proposal is linked to an initiative specified
On 28 March 2013, the Commonwealth Government announced that the states and territories had matched its pledge for a transitional funding arrangement under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness for 2013–14 — with a total of $320 million, which includes a $76 million development fund for new accommodation arrangements. Previously, funding for projects under the National Partnership on Homelessness had been due to expire on 30 June 2013. The Commonwealth, state and territory governments are continuing to negotiate in relation
On 3 March 2013, Mark Butler, MP, Commonwealth Minister for Housing and Homelessness, announced that the Australian Government will offer $159 million towards a transitional funding arrangement under a National Partnership on Homelessness for 2013–14, to be matched by states and territories. This will include funding for homelessness services and for capital projects to help people move from homelessness into housing.
The National Mental Health Commission released its first report card on mental health and suicide prevention on November 27. Its recommendations include that no-one should be discharged from hospitals, custodial care, mental health, or drug and alcohol-related treatment services into homelessness, and that access to stable and safe places to live must increase for people living with mental health issues. Read the report card.
On November 16, the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Housing and Homelessness agreed that the ministers would commence negotiations for a new National Partnership on Homelessness, subject to their Cabinet processes. The ministers also agreed to work on a one-year transitional partnership agreement for 2013–14 while the new agreement was being negotiated. Read the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness communiqué.
On 14 November 2012, the Commonwealth Government announced its commitment to provide half the funding for a new National Partnership on homelessness with the states and territories. The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Brendan O’Connor, stated that in a speech at the National Press Club that the federal government was committed to providing half the funding for the next financial year, while a new agreement with matched funding from the states and territories was being negotiated. The minister stated that
A report issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on November 12 has found that between census nights in 2006 and 2011, there was an increase in the homelessness rate by 8% across Australia. As at 2011, there were estimated to be 105,237 homeless people in Australia. Most of the increase in homelessness between 2006 and 2011 was attributable to people living in severely crowded dwellings: an increase of 31% for Australia. There was also a marked rise in the
A report released on 14 October 2012 by the Australian Council of Social Service to mark Anti-Poverty Week has found that in 2010, after taking account of housing costs, 12.8% of Australians live in poverty: that is, one in eight people were living at or below the poverty line in 2010. The ‘Poverty in Australia’ report found that the overall risk of poverty is higher in New South Wales and Tasmania than in the other states — this may reflect
On 24 September 2012, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare issued its latest report on data from specialist homelessness services. In the March quarter 2012, 18,594 people were accommodated by homelessness services across Australia on average every night, and domestic and family violence was the most common main reason for seeking assistance (in 24% of cases). Read the AIHW report.