Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government and Australian Capital Territory Government sign the fifth Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP V)

Joint Media Release with:

  • John Hargreaves MLA, ACT Minister for Disability Housing and Community Services

Funding for services supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is now assured with the signing of the fifth Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP V) between the Australian and ACT Governments.The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, and the ACT Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, John Hargreaves MLA, today announced a five-year funding commitment to the provision of homelessness services.

The Australian Government will contribute $932 million over five years, with $30.9 million going directly to the ACT.

The ACT Government will contribute $30 million over five years, which includes $2.6 million towards the SAAP V Innovation and Investment Fund.

Senator Patterson said: “One of the significant differences between the SAAP IV and SAAP V agreements is the jointly funded Innovation and Investment Fund worth almost $120 million. I insisted on the establishment of this fund to drive strategic reform in the SAAP sector.

“The fund will identify ways of reducing the high rates of return to SAAP services by improving pre-crisis intervention, post-crisis transition and linkages to other services, including mental health and employment support services.

“The Australian Government recognises the ACT Government’s efforts to reform homelessness services in the ACT, particularly through the ACT Homelessness Strategy, which is consistent with the strategic priorities for SAAP V.

“All parties to the SAAP V Agreement, including the ACT Government, have agreed to continue to further reform their respective SAAP sectors with a particular emphasis on the SAAP V strategic priorities.

“The Australian Government looks forward to beginning negotiations around the development of the Bilateral Agreement with the ACT Government, which will build on the high level objectives of the Multilateral Agreement while providing scope for the ACT to address issues that are unique to its own SAAP sector, ” Senator Patterson said.

Mr Hargreaves welcomed the new SAAP V agreement and said it furthered the ACT Government’s ability to deliver on its Homelessness Strategy.

“Through SAAP V and Breaking the Cycle – the ACT Homelessness Strategy, the ACT is responding to homelessness in a coordinated and collaborative manner,” Minister Hargreaves said.

“The ACT is committed to working with the community to respond to the causes and effects of homelessness.

“In addition to funds contributed to SAAP V, the ACT Government has allocated $13.37 million over three years to increase the capacity of the ACT to respond to homelessness,” Minister Hargreaves said.