St Vincent de Paul Society says election should focus on housing and homelessness

3 June 2016 

The St Vincent de Paul Society is renewing a call on parties to address the chronic shortfall of social and affordable housing and make the elimination of homelessness a national priority. 

The Society’s National Council CEO Dr John Falzon says Australia urgently needs political leadership to tackle homelessness and housing stress.

“We are a rich country. No one should be denied something as a basic as a place to call home. But more than 105,000 people in prosperous Australia are currently without a home”, Dr Falzon said.

“We are in the midst of a federal election. There is no better time to set our sights on fixing this crisis. Political leaders cannot ignore this fundamental requirement for a fairer Australia.”

To address the housing shortage the St Vincent de Paul Society is calling for the establishment of a $10 billion social and affordable housing fund, along with reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

“Housing should be a human right for all and not a speculative sport for some. Currently, with 200,000 households waiting for social housing, it is clear that this has to be a priority for the next government.” Dr Falzon said.

Mr Frank Brassil, Chair of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s National Social Justice Committee, said:

“A $10 billion housing fund is one of four key recommendations made in The Ache for Home, a paper released by the Society earlier this year.

“Other recommendations include:

  • The preparation of a National Housing Plan.
  • The recognition of the human right to housing.
  • The setting of new targets to halve both homelessness and the housing shortfall by 2025.

 “We see people who face a daily struggle to survive and constantly worry about where they are going to sleep or whether their housing is secure”, said Mr Brassil. “Housing is an essential of life. Government must step in where the market has failed.”

The report The Ache for Home – a Plan to Address Chronic Homelessness and Housing Unaffordability in Australia is available at www.vinnies.org.au/theacheforhome.

Media Enquiries: Belinda Cranston 0400 845 492