Who is my neighbour?

Housing is a human right, but on any given night in Australia more than 105, 000 people are homeless. In recent years we have seen a rise in the number of people living in inappropriate housing. For example, members of the St Vincent de Paul Society have seen evidence of overcrowded dwellings among many of the families they visit. We are deeply saddened that a wealthy country like Australia still has such high levels of homelessness.

Explore the issue

There is simply not enough public housing and crisis accommodation available to meet the demand. At present, the Federal and State Governments have committed to funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) until June 2015. Vinnies has called on the state and territory governments to commit to the new two-year funding agreement for 2015- 2017 that was announced by the federal government on 24 March, 2015.

In late 2014, Vinnies was disappointed to learn that three national peak bodies for housing and homelessness had their funding cut. Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA), Homelessness Australia and National Shelter will no longer receive federal funds from June 2015 in a move that shocked the community sector. We call on the Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, to reverse this decision and ensure the voice of people experiencing homelessness continues to be heard in the corridors of power in Canberra.  

In 2015 the St Vincent de Paul Society is closely following the development of Reform of the Federation White Paper, which will review among other social policy and tax transfer issues, the homelessness and housing services provided by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.  An issues paper titled Issues Paper 2 - Roles and Responsibilities in Housing and Homelessness was released on 11 December 2014. For more information see the Terms of Reference.

Get involved

  • Support our annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout the proceeds from which go to Vinnies hostels and homelessness shelters and services in capital cities and regional centres.
  • Read a statement seeking a concrete commitment from the Coalition by 2 July, 2016, to develop a national plan aimed at halving homelessness in Australia by 2025. 
  • Follow our campaign to put pressure on the state and territory governments to sign up to the two-year National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness announced by the federal government in March 2015.
  • Play a role in helping to halve homelessness by 2025 through volunteering your time.
  • Learn more about exciting housing initiatives such as Rapid Rehousing projects in NSW and the work of Australians for Affordable Housing.
  • Support events such as the Passages Race Day in WA that directly support Passages homeless youth program for 12 - 25yr olds
  • Read Lindy's story about a search for suitable housing.

Learn more 

Read our submissions