Everybody’s Home and capital city Lord Mayors call for national leadership on housing and homelessness crisis

National housing and homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home has joined capital city Lord Mayors and the ACT Chief Minister in calling for a National Housing and Homelessness Strategy to end the growing homelessness crisis facing Australia.

The Mayors and Chief Minister, who represent millions of Australians, sent a delegation to Canberra today calling for national leadership on the issue.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin says that 63 per cent of people experiencing homelessness, and 47 per cent of all people sleeping rough, are living in our capital cities.[1]

Percentage change for homelessness reported by capital city, 2011-2016[2]

Sydney Inner City +68% Brisbane Inner City +88%
Melbourne City +86% Perth City +15%
Hobart Inner +13% Darwin City +28%
Australian Capital Territory -8% Adelaide City +15%


“The fact that every single capital city leader has come to Canberra shows the extent of the issue and the need for action at a federal level,” Ms Colvin said.

“Local government can’t do it on their own, and neither can the states and territories. We need the Federal Government to take the lead and bring everyone together in a full national response to the problem.”

Ms Colvin said that the lack of affordability of rent and the lack of social housing are the main reason for increased homelessness, particularly in our cities.

Social housing levels have dropped from 6-7% to 4.2% nationally and fewer than 1% of rentals are affordable for low income households.

“While homelessness is most acute in our capital cities, it is growing in all areas of Australia, including country towns and regional areas.

“We have seen an 18 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help from specialist homelessness services since 2012.

“Homelessness services can’t rehouse people who are homeless if the homes aren’t there. The fact is that social housing investment by the Federal Government has been falling in real terms, and there just isn’t enough social housing for people who desperately need it.

“We can’t afford to wait – without urgent investment to grow the amount of social housing, homelessness in Australia will continue to grow,” said Ms Colvin.

Everybody’s Home has united almost 200 housing and homelessness organisations with the country’s largest charities and almost 30,000 Australians in calling for governments to fix Australia’s broken housing system.

[1] Parkinson, S., Batterham, D., Reynolds, M. and Wood, G. (2019). The Changing Geography of Homelessness: A Spatial Analysis from 2001 to 2016, AHURI Final Report 313. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited: Melbourne.

[2] ABS, Census

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