Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Labor government reaffirms its pledge to halve homelessness

Joint Media Release with:

  • Julie Collins MP
    Minister for Housing and Homelessness

  • Senator Doug Cameron
    Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homeless

To mark the start of National Homeless Persons’ Week, the Federal Labor Government has re-affirmed its pledge to halve the rate of homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Julie Collins said since coming to office in 2007, homelessness has been a national priority for this Government.

“Our commitment began with the 2008 White Paper ‘The Road Home’ which established a new, comprehensive, all-of-government homelessness strategy,” Ms Collins said.

“For the first time, we went beyond mere rhetoric to set clear, measurable targets. This is the first time an Australian government has taken such a comprehensive approach to homelessness, setting specific goals.

“We have invested an unprecedented $31 billion to help make housing more affordable and support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” she said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Doug Cameron said this year’s National Homeless Persons’ Week theme of hidden homelessness was an important reminder that most people who are homeless are not on the streets.

“There are families whose perfectly normal, ordinary lives are turned upside down because of unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, an accident, or the loss of a job, and who suddenly find themselves unable to pay rent,” Senator Cameron said.

“And there are various inter-related causes of homelessness, including family breakdown, mental illness, substance abuse, and gambling addiction.”

Ms Collins said the Federal Labor Government was working hard to tackle the most entrenched forms of disadvantage, including homelessness, which has catastrophic effects on people’s wellbeing.

“We know that access to safe, affordable and accessible housing is essential for social inclusion,” Ms Collins said.

“Through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, we are working with the states and territories, business and community organisations to jointly reduce homelessness.”