MEDIA RELEASE: Call for national leadership: work on plan to end homelessness must start this year

National housing and homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home today called for work to begin by the end of the year on a bipartisan national action plan to end homelessness in Australia by 2030.

The appeal comes as analysis by Homelessness Australia shows investment in social housing will have fallen by $96 million in real terms by next year.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said supporters were writing to new Assistant Homelessness Minister Luke Howarth during Homelessness Week (August 4-10) calling for him to start work on a national homelessness action plan by the end of 2019.

Ms Colvin said homelessness was a real and growing crisis in Australia, rising by 14% over 5 years and as much as 48% in some parts of the country. Every night 116,000 Australians are homeless – more people than the whole population of Toowoomba.

“Homelessness affects every generation, every state and territory, our cities and our country towns, which is why it will take national leadership to solve the problem,” Ms Colvin said.

“We need a national homelessness action plan that addresses all the drivers of homelessness, including falling investment in social housing in Australia and proper support services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

“Any action plan should also be bipartisan, and include input from all state and territory Premiers or Homelessness Ministers, from local government, people with a lived experience of homelessness, and people working in the sector.”

Ms Colvin said it was the first time homelessness had been included in a federal minister’s title for many years – if ever.

“In his first few months on the job, Minister Howarth has said he’s prepared to “work in a bipartisan way” to tackle the issue. He’s also said he’s looking forward to speaking to people on the ground about the issue when he’s in Tasmania to “launch” Homelessness Week today,” she said.

“It’s a good sign that he’s prepared to take Australia’s growing homelessness problem seriously and show national leadership on the issue.

“We know the solutions that will work. We just just need a plan for putting them in place.

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

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