Australia is failing our homeless

Australia is failing our homeless

Media Release

The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is calling on the Albanese Government to take urgent action to help Australians experiencing homelessness.

‘The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released figures showing the number of people experiencing homelessness each night increased 6,000 to nearly 123,000 between the 2016 and 2021 Censuses,’ St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia National President Mark Gaetani said.

‘We know from first-hand experience across local communities that today’s homelessness figures are even higher after years of COVID, the surging cost of living and Australia’s entrenched housing crisis have knocked many Australians to their knees.

‘The Society is seeing a significant increase in demand for support – up around 20 per cent in NSW for example – as more and more Australians struggle to afford life’s essentials, including a safe place to call home.

‘Along with other major charities and foodbank providers, we know that we have to prepare for even further increases in demand as we move into the winter months.

‘Our members and our resources are stretched but we continue to offer a hand up to those doing it tough.

‘The Society has welcomed the Albanese Government’s commitment to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan and introduce the Housing Australia Future Fund.

‘We want this legislation passed so we can get on with addressing supply-side problems. ‘But we also know these initiatives alone are not enough to address Australia’s growing homelessness crisis and will do nothing to help Australians without a safe place to call home tonight,’ Mr Gaetani said.

The Society calls on the Albanese Government to

  • set an ambitious target to halve homelessness
  • identify incentives for private sector investment in low-cost properties for low and middle income- earners
  • review and increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

‘Housing is a human right, and it is simply not good enough that in a country such as Australia that prides itself on a “fair go”, we are allowing so many Australians to live without a home,’ Mr Gaetani said.

MEDIA CONTACT DETAILS: MOB: 0475 068 209 | E: media@svdp.org.au

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