Submission to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)

On 5 June 2012, the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP invited written submissions on the draft Homelessness Bill 2012 (“the Bill”) by 3 August 2012. The National Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society (“the Society”) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Bill.

While the Society has previously advocated a rights-based approach to homelessness we understand that the Commonwealth has no express Constitutional power to legislate on homelessness and so the draft Bill is severely limited, in that it cannot give rise to any rights or obligations. At best, the Bill captures the Commonwealth’s goals and objective.