Government launches 12 year plan to reduce homelessness in Australia
The White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, was launched today by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the , Tanya Plibersek.
The White Paper outlines a plan for reducing homelessness in Australia by 2020, with specific goals to:
- Halve overall homelessness; and
- Provide accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it.
There are currently 105,000 homeless people in Australia, of whom around 16,000 sleep rough.
The White Paper is a huge injection of funds. It provides an additional $1.2 billion over four years – a 55% increase in investment in homelessness and a substantial down payment on a twelve year reform agenda.
It includes a commitment of $800 million over the next four years for new support services for homeless people and $400 million over the next two financial years for social housing, to house the homeless.
This injection of funds is part of a $15.1 billion package agreed by the Council of Australian Governments that will stimulate the economy and generate up to 133,000 jobs over coming years.
In response to overwhelming feedback from consultations on the Green Paper, the White Paper focuses on three core strategies:
- ‘Turning off the tap’ – better prevention of homelessness
- Improving and expanding services to help more homeless people
- Breaking the cycle of homelessness by providing long term housing and support.
Through new funding and reforms we aim to:
- Help up to 9,000 more young people to remain connected with their families;
- Help up to 2,250 more families at risk of homelessness to stay housed;
- provide day to day support to an extra 1,000 adults with mental illness;
- Build up to 2,700 additional public and community houses for low income households who are at risk of homelessness;
- Fund a network of 90 Community Engagement Officers within Centrelink to support people at risk of homelessness; and
- Build up to 4,200 new houses and upgrade up to 4,800 existing houses in remote Indigenous communities
- Allocate aged care places and capital funds for at least 1 new specialist facility for older homeless people every year for the next four years.
Homelessness is everyone’s responsibility and the White Paper offers a once in a generation opportunity to reduce homelessness in Australia.
This White Paper was the first to be announced by the Rudd Government, which promised to make tackling homelessness a priority.
The White Paper delivers on that promise.
The Government will continue to monitor developments in homelessness and will take further action where necessary.
The Government recognises the critical need for national leadership, a clear vision and measurable goals.
Reducing homelessness is a shared responsibility that will take a sustained financial and reform effort by all levels of government, business, charities and the community.
The White Paper is available at the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigneous Affairs or by calling 1800 774 055.