Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Australian and Victorian Governments plan to tackle homelessness

The Gillard Government today re-affirmed its commitment to tackling homelessness in Victoria, welcoming the release of A Better Place: Victorian Homelessness 2020 Strategy.

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness, Mark Arbib, said the Strategy, was designed to work towards the goals outlined in the Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, including:

  • Halving overall homelessness by 2020; and
  • Offering supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who need it by 2020.

“It is deeply concerning that we live in a country where more than 100,000 people are homeless,” Senator Arbib said.

“That is why the Gillard Government is strongly committed to achieving the ambitious but necessary goals set out in the White Paper on Homelessness.

“The Australian and Victorian Governments are working together to address both the causes of homelessness as well as increasing the supply of affordable housing.

“The Federal Labor Government has committed almost $5 billion to address homelessness.

“This includes $1.1 billion in new and expanded services to help homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness, access sustainable housing through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

“The Gillard Government is also increasing the supply of affordable housing by more than 80,000 homes.

“The Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan’s Social Housing Initiative is delivering $5.6 billion over three and a half years to build more than 19,000 homes.

“At least 50 per cent of houses built under the Social Housing Initiative will be tenanted by people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

The Strategy is underpinned by the three fundamental goals identified in the Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness:

  • Early intervention to prevent homelessness;
  • Improving and expanding services to help end homelessness; and
  • Breaking the cycle of homelessness by ensuring people who experience homelessness move quickly into stable housing.

“I am looking forward to working with Victorian Government to achieve our shared vision of ending homelessness in the state and across the nation,” Senator Arbib said.