Media Release by The Hon Robert McClelland MP

Government’s commitment to reducing homelessness is making progress

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Robert McClelland MP, today welcomed the Report on Government Services (RoGS) 2012, which shows that, while there is still much to be done to reduce the number of Australians experiencing homelessness, the Gillard Government’s investments are making progress.

“This Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have a roof over their head, and that assistance is provided to those vulnerable Australians who are experiencing homelessness,” said Mr McClelland.

The Report found that between 30 June, 2010 and 30 June, 2011, there was a two per cent increase in social housing across the country, and the number of community housing sector homes rose from 25,826 in 2003 to 59,777 in 2011.

“Under the Government’s $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative we have built 17,000 new homes to date for those vulnerable Australians who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including people with disability, older people, Indigenous Australians and families escaping violence,” said Mr McClelland.

The Report also shows that waiting lists for public housing have fallen.

“This means that more and more Australians can rest assured knowing they have an affordable roof over their heads. And importantly, they can also access the support and services they need to remain connected to the community,” said Mr McClelland.

“Homelessness remains a serious issue for our community. We have an estimated 105,000 Australians who are experiencing homelessness – we need to do more for these Australians, and for those at risk of homelessness.

“The Gillard Government is working tirelessly with State and Territory Governments to deliver more services and more support to people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

Mr McClelland said it was heartening that the Report found 97 per cent of people who sought support from Specialist Homelessness Services received the help required.

“This was against a background of a rise in the number of people who sought assistance from Specialist Homelessness Services,” said Mr McClelland.

“In 2010-11, the nation’s 1,547 Specialist Homelessness Services agencies provided support to 230,500 people, up from 219,900 people in 2009-10.

“In partnership with the States and Territories, we have delivered more than 180 new and expanded initiatives in 2010-11 under the $1.1 billion National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, with assistance provided on more than 170,000 occasions to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” Mr McClelland said.

“This Government has also provided $311 million under the A Place to Call Home program, to deliver 600 new homes for people experiencing homelessness, providing permanent accommodation and wrap-around support.

“Under this initiative, as at 30 September 2011, 309 houses had been constructed or purchased, and 287 of them were already being lived in,” said Mr McClelland.

“This report is a timely reminder that while we have already made significant inroads, more needs to be done to help support those in need.”

The Report on Government Services 2012 is a Council of Australian Governments endorsed review that provides information on the efficiency and effectiveness of government-funded services, including education, justice, emergency management, health, community services and housing.

The Report on Government Services 2012 is available at