Combatting homelessness, increasing affordable housing
Under international law, secure and adequate housing is a human right, essential for survival with dignity.
A home should be safe and affordable. Yet, on any given night, more than 122,000 Australians are homeless. Being homeless or experiencing housing stress is a denial of dignity and limits people’s life potential.
Every day we see the human face of housing stress and homelessness behind the statistics.
We help people by providing housing and accommodation options in each state and territory. These include short-term crisis accommodation, transitional housing, medium to longer-term community housing, accessible housing for people living with disability and specialist homelessness services.
We advocate for improved housing accessibility. Housing is vital to wellbeing and is associated with better outcomes in health, education and employment, and economic and social participation. It helps reduce poverty and enhances equality of opportunity, social inclusion and mobility.
For the people we assist, the lack of pathways out of temporary housing stops them from getting on with their lives, looking for a job, studying and/or taking care of themselves or other family members.
Policies that improve housing affordability, security, safety and energy efficiency have been neglected for too long. Australia has one of the lowest levels of housing stock per adult in the developed world with just over 400 dwellings per 1,000 people.
We know that those most likely to experience homelessness or housing stress are people living in poverty – JobSeeker recipients, single parents, older people in the private rental market and people living with disability. Of nearly 46,000 rental listings sampled in 2022, only eight were affordable for a single person on Jobseeker, even after factoring in Commonwealth Rent Assistance and other available payments.
Many people are just one life event away from housing stress – losing a job, falling ill, being a carer, ending a relationship, being on a temporary visa or experiencing family and domestic violence.