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
On April 13, the Council of Australian Governments released a National Partnership Agreement Supporting National Mental Health Reform, which includes funding to improve housing outcomes for people with severe mental health issues. See the National Partnership Agreement Supporting National Mental Health Reform.
On April 13, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) released a revised National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness which contained performance indicators which had been amended following a mid-term review of the agreement. See the revised National Partnership on Homelessness. The review found that there was some evidence of progress towards agreement’s outcomes, however there was insufficient evidence to assess whether the agreement’s targets will be met. See the report on