Budget: Challenges of Housing Affordability & Homelessness
9 May 2012 at 11:32 am
Homelessness Australia (HA) the peak body for homelessness has welcomed the delivery of the final instalments of the affordable housing and homelessness agreements in the Federal Budget.
“We are pleased to see that the final instalments in funding for the National Affordable Housing Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness have been quarantined from budget cuts,” said Homelessness Australia’s Treasurer, Liz Fritz.
“However we need to see evidence of a commitment to the next instalment of these initiatives and the provision of growth funding to ensure we meet the target of halving homelessness by 2020 and begin to seriously address Australia’s housing affordability crisis.
Homelessness Australia says it is disappointed by:
- Grandfathering people from the single parenting payment to the lower Newstart Allowance when their child turns 8 leaving them almost $60 per week worse off.
- The failure to increase allowance payments or Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
Homelessness Australia welcomes:
- The $1 billion commitment over 4 years for a National Disability Insurance Scheme
- The $3.7 billion aged care package.
“We have for a number of years been lobbying with other community sector peaks for an increase of $50 per week in income support payments such as Newstart and Youth Allowance and a 30% increase to the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help vulnerable Australians manage cost of living pressures. It is substandard that these measures have not been reflected in the 2012 − 13 Federal Budget.
People in poverty are being asked to pay a disproportionate share of the burden to bring the budget back to surplus,” Homelessness Australia’s Policy and Research Officer, Travis Gilbert said.
With the budget back in surplus on paper, Homelessness Australia remains expectant that some of
The Budget investments in affordable housing and addressing homelessness totals more than $3.6 billion in 2012-13.
Almost $1.2 billion will be provided to the states and territories under the National Affordable Housing Special Purpose Payment, and a further $156.5 million through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness in 2012 – 2013 alone, and a total of $538.6million over five years since 2009.
VCOSS says it is also troubling that there is nothing new in the Budget to address Australia’s affordable housing crisis and no increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance and nothing new for social housing, leaving the one-in-ten families who are in housing stress with little to cheer about.
"Investments in important priorities such as the NDIS and Denticare are great and the Budget largely delivers on the Treasurer’s commitment to a Fair Go. It is just a shame that this doesn’t extend to single parents and their children and people struggling to keep a roof over their heads," said VCOSS CEO Cath Smith.
Budget paper Link: http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/overview/html/index.htm
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