Media Release by Senator the Hon Doug Cameron MP

Homeless Persons’ Week 2013 puts hidden homelessness in focus

Tackling hidden homelessness will be a key focus of National Homeless Persons’ Week 2013 which has been officially launched in Adelaide today and runs from Monday 5th August to Sunday 11th August.

Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness Senator Doug Cameron says this year’s theme of hidden homelessness is an important reminder that most people who are homeless are not on the streets.

“National Homeless Persons’ Week is an important annual event that challenges stereotypes about homelessness,” Senator Cameron said.

“While rough sleeping is what most people associate with homelessness, there are other forms of homelessness that we may not be as conscious of but that severely impacts on the lives of many vulnerable Australians.

“There are people couch surfing or sleeping in the back of their car, women and children fleeing family and domestic violence and having to stay in temporary or crisis accommodation, and families who simply can no longer afford the rent.

“Building our community’s knowledge of homelessness is essential to addressing it, because to resolve an issue, we must understand it.

“I’m pleased the Government was able to contribute $25,000 to Homelessness Australia towards National Homeless Persons’ Week 2013, and I encourage all Australians to take part in activities organised across the country to mark this important week.”

Senator Cameron said the Australian Government remained steadfast in its commitment to halve the rate of homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

“We have invested an unprecedented $31 billion to help make housing more affordable and assist people to move out of homelessness,” Mr Cameron said.

“The Australian Government continues to work with the states and territories, business and community organisations to jointly reduce homelessness.

“The transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness will see $320 million in joint federal and state and territory funding in 2013-14.

“This includes $43 million in Australian Government funding for capital and development projects that help people move out of homelessness into safe and sustainable housing.

“We believe all Australians deserve a safe, secure home, and we will continue to work to provide affordable housing for Australia’s most vulnerable people.”

For more information on National Homeless Persons’ week, visit the Homelessness Australia website.