Govt Urged To Extend Homeless Funding
6 August 2012 at 2:30 pm
Not for Profit organisations have called on the Federal Government to extend its funding of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) beyond the end of this financial year in June 2013.
The announcements comes as National Homelessness Week commences around the nation.
Mission Australia says there has been no commitment that the joint federal-state agreement – $1.1 billion over five years as part of the Rudd (now Gillard) Government’s effort to tackle homelessness – would continue beyond the end of June 2013.
“The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) has developed and improved 180 homeless services around the country,” said a Mission Australia spokesperson Eleri Morgan-Thomas.
“Even with that unprecedented level of funding Australia’s homeless situation remains serious. That’s because, prior to the NPAH, Australia under-invested in homeless services and social housing over a generation. That will take more than four years to turn around.
In 2009 the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd committed the Government to halve the number of homeless people by 2020. Since then $5 billion has been spent over four years to improve the national issue.
CEO of Homelessness NSW Gary Moore also believes that the Commonwealth and State governments must extend the NPAH beyond June 2013.
“It would be very premature to turn off the funding tap next year. Overseas evidence shows that a concerted investment in prevention and housing first approaches delivers good results and reduces far greater spending in hospitals, prisons and mental health systems,” Moore said.
“In the 2006 Census, 27,000 people were counted as homeless in NSW. First release 2011 Census data indicates that the number of rough sleepers has remained constant over the 5 year period.
“Homeless Persons Week 2012 provides the opportunity to restate the priority that reducing homelessness should be in Government and community efforts between now and 2020.”