Govt Response to ‘Housing The Homeless’ Report
21 June 2012 at 11:26 am
The Federal Government has produced draft legislation aimed at reducing homelessness in Australia as part of its response to the Housing the Homeless Report.
The government has released a draft plan to reduce homlessness
The Government tabled its response to the Housing the Homeless report of the former House Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth, which inquired into proposed homelessness legislation. The Government says the Committee report has provided the foundation of the Homelessness Bill 2012, which it will introduce in the Spring sittings of Parliament.
The Government said the new homelessness legislation would explicitly state that its objectives are to: achieve an overall reduction in homelessness by allowing access to adequate and sustainable housing; and achieve social inclusion for people experiencing homelessness or at increased risk of homelessness.
Housing and Homelessness Minister Brendan O’Connor said the Government has incorporated the recommendations of the legislation Inquiry into the draft Bill to the extent possible within the constraints of the Australian Constitution.
O’Connor said an exposure draft of this Bill has been released for a two month consultation period concluding on August 3 and the Government will consider the feedback of the Not for Profit sector before presenting the legislation to Parliament.
“It is true that this legislation will not provide a home for anyone, however it will ensure that the spotlight remains firmly on addressing homelessness,” O’Connor said.
“The introduction of legislation provides us with a great opportunity to retain in law the important statements about homelessness; the partnerships, the effort and strategies that are needed to tackle it; and the treatment and support that vulnerable Australians deserve.
“I urge the Opposition to engage with the Government on the Bill, and to support it when it comes to the Parliament.
Part of the Government’s response to the Report recommends that the Minister for Housing include a preamble in new homelessness legislation which:
- establishes its relationship and alignment with the Australian Government’s policy for addressing homelessness as set out in The Road Home and implemented through the National Affordable Housing Agreement and associated National Partnerships
- establishes its relationship with housing legislation and policy, including initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing
- acknowledges the individual, socio-economic and structural causes of homelessness, including explicitly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- and establishes its relationship with the Social Inclusion Agenda and other national reforms that target the structural and individual causes of homelessness