Speech by The Hon Luke Howarth MP

Launch of Home Hub


Good morning and thank you for inviting me here to help launch Home Hub.

I want to thank Shelter WA and Hygge Community Life for their efforts developing this innovative initiative which will help ease pressure on the housing system here in Perth.

We all know and understand that anyone waiting for housing is doing it tough.

To have a centralised digital platform for people in need of social, affordable and emergency housing; with the aim to also reduce wait times for social housing is incredible, and will be of great help to people needing assistance.

In 2019, housing affordability and homelessness continues to impact the lives of people in our communities across the country. From Townsville to Melbourne, Perth to Darwin and everywhere in between, while the issues associated with homelessness may vary across each city, the end goal remains the same.

When access to safe and secure housing is not available, it can hugely impact on a person’s health and work opportunities, as well as the wellbeing of their family.

The Morrison Government understands how important safe and secure housing is for the welfare of all Australians. That’s why Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appointed me in my role as Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services.

As well as the Minister for Housing the Hon Michael Sukkar, Assistant Minister for Children and Families the Hon. Michelle Landry and of course the Minister for Families and Social Services the Hon. Anne Ruston.

The Morrison Government is focused on working to increase the supply of affordable housing, including affordable rental accommodation for low-to-moderate income households.

Across my own electorate, Petrie in Queensland, I have seen first-hand the impact housing stress and homelessness can have.

Travelling through different regions around Australia, most recently in Melbourne, I have also been privileged to see some of the marvellous work of the community sector. Last week for example I visited The Salvation Army and Project 614 as well as other groups like Front Yard Youth.

These groups and their staff are making a real difference helping people through some of the most difficult challenges they will face, just like you are.

At a Commonwealth level, the Government delivers a range of policies and programs which support improved housing outcomes for Australians.

We also provide substantial support to the states and territories who are primarily responsible for housing and homelessness, so they can fund important initiatives to help those who need it most within their localities.

When we all work together to generate innovative approaches to the complex issue of housing and homelessness, we have a much better chance of success.

In just six months in this role I am pleased to have already had the opportunity to meet with so many people in the sector and I am awestruck by the enthusiasm and energy people have in trying to make a difference in this area, and help those in our communities who really need a hand up.

It is this enthusiasm and energy which leads to innovative solutions, like Home Hub.

Home Hub is a great concept and I congratulate Iain and the Hygge team for establishing a platform that is really breaking ground in Australia.

The Morrison Government is supportive of new ways that help people take control of their choices and improve their lives. Home hub allows people looking for affordable housing to take that choice into their own hands.

The fact that Home Hub has the support of the WA Government, local Government and so many other peak bodies in WA, indicates that this program is supported by the community and will be embraced by property owners, prospective tenants, governments and community services organisations.

Tackling the issue of housing affordability and homelessness is no easy task.

I congratulate Shelter WA and Hygge Community Life for their efforts in developing this innovative initiative to help ease pressure on the housing system.

I wish the team all the best in launching Home Hub, and look forward to monitoring its progress over the coming year.