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.
On September 11, the Australian Bureau of Statistics issued revised estimates of the levels of homelessness based on 2001 and 2006 census data: 95,314 homeless people in Australia in 2001, and 89,728 homeless people in Australia in 2006. The ABS has stated that the decline in the number of people living in boarding houses drove the overall decline in homelessness between 2001 and 2006. The ABS has stated the some key population groups — young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait
On August 30, the Housing Supply and Affordability Reform Working Party released a report on strategies to stimulate housing supply — covering issues such as land supply, infrastructure cost recovery, and land-use planning and approval processes. The report acknowledged, however, that reducing barriers to housing supply will not necessarily reduce the housing affordability problems faced by households on lower incomes. Regarding the First Home Owner Grant, the report noted that in its current form and in a supply-constrained environment, the
On September 4, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a report on their statistical definition of homelessness. This report states that a person is considered homeless if they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives, and their current living arrangement:
- is in a dwelling that is inadequate; or
- has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable; or
- does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations.
The new definition has been developed following
New Commonwealth funding is available to help older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in outer regional, remote and very remote areas of Australia. Applications for funding under the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program (ACHA) close on September 21. The ACHA program supports older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, through linking them with housing and care services. Read about the
On August 6, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the 2010 state and territory results from the ‘National social housing survey’. The report states that 79% of community housing tenants were satisfied with the services provided by their housing provider, and 73% of public housing tenants were so satisfied. Read the report.
For four years from July 1, the Home Energy Saver Scheme will be providing advice and support on reducing energy costs for low-income households. The scheme covers information, advice, advocacy and support on energy efficiency, as well as referrals to the No Interest Loans Scheme, and it will be delivered by not-for-profit organisations that provide financial counselling services. It is part of the Commonwealth Government’s climate change plan, Securing a Clean Energy Future. Read more details.
On June 20, the Commonwealth Government released its response to Housing the homeless — the report on the inquiry into homelessness legislation by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth which was tabled in 2009. In the response, the government stated that it agrees ‘in principle’ with committing to an adequate supply of appropriate accommodation for people who are experiencing homelessness; however, it noted that state and territory government policies strongly influence the availability of
The Commonwealth Government released an exposure draft of a Homelessness Bill 2012 on June 5, and is seeking feedback by August 3. The draft legislation sets out a definition of homelessness, service delivery outcomes and strategies to reduce homelessness. It also specifies that the Commonwealth’s ‘aspiration’ is that all Australians have access to adequate housing. Increasing the supply of affordable housing is listed as one of the strategies to reduce homelessness. The proposed legislation will replace the Commonwealth Supported Accommodation