Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$11.4 million for Homelessness Research

Tanya Plibersek today announced $11.4 million over four years for new research to direct the Rudd Government’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Australia.

The Minister made the announcement in a speech to the Australasian Housing Researchers’ Conference in Sydney.

Ms Plibersek said the new Homelessness Research Agenda will increase the evidence base around homelessness and support the implementation of the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness.

“The Rudd Government’s Homelessness White Paper contains ambitious targets to halve homelessness in Australia and offer accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020,” Ms Plibersek said.

“An immediate priority is to improve knowledge and understanding of homelessness and the drivers of homelessness.”

“This funding will also enable the monitoring of progress against the White Paper’s goals and targets.”

The research agenda will fund wide-ranging and innovative research, improve existing data and invest in new data.

“The research agenda will also focus on understanding more about early intervention and protective factors that can prevent homelessness and the risks associated with chronic homelessness,” Ms Plibersek said.

“We need to understand the impacts of service design and government policy on homelessness within and across State and Commonwealth jurisdictions.”

The Australian Government has invested more than $7 billion to tackle homelessness in Australia since coming to office.

“We have worked hard over the last 18 months and will continue to work across governments and the community sector to implement measures to help reduce homelessness.”

Ms Plibersek also announced a thirty per cent increase in funding for the National Housing Research program at the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI).

“More than $9 million over three years marks the Rudd Government’s commitment to evidence-based policy making, and to supporting the process of housing policy reform,” Ms Plibersek said.

“This increased funding will allow AHURI to move beyond social housing research to a whole of housing system research program.

“Building a broader evidence base across the housing system is critical to the development and implementation of the Government’s housing policies and the quality of the national housing debate.”

AHURI Executive Director Dr Ian Winter welcomed the funding increase.

“With a proven track record since 2000, AHURI is well positioned to provide timely and well targeted research and to contribute effectively to the evidence base needed to respond to Australia’s housing challenge,” Dr Winter said.