The Turnbull Coalition will deliver $117.2 million to support frontline services addressing homelessness.
Around 85,000 people, particularly women and children affected by domestic violence and vulnerable young people, will be supported through 757 frontline services through the Transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).
The agreement, which has been extended through until June 2018, will provide certainty while state and territory governments continue to work together on long-term homelessness reforms.
The Government has brought forward this announcement well ahead of the 2017?18 Budget to give providers of frontline homelessness services the certainty they need to get on with their work of helping some of our most vulnerable Australians.
In 2015 the Coalition restored funding for the NPAH providing $230 million over two years, which was matched by the states, to extend the NPAH for two years and to prioritise this funding for women and children experiencing domestic violence and homeless youth. This followed Labor’s decision in previous years to abandon the NPAH with no certainty of funding.
The Coalition also put homelessness on the Council of Australian Government agenda in 2015.
State and territory treasurers last week agreed on further steps to consider potential options to improve housing supply and affordability and agreed to the establishment of a taskforce to examine options for a bond aggregator to assist in providing more affordable housing stock.
All ministers at the November 2016 meeting of Housing and Homelessness Ministers agreed to progress reform and reinvigorate housing and homelessness policies and funding arrangements.
It has become increasingly clear that there is an urgent need for reforming both the affordable housing and homelessness sectors.
Despite significant investment in housing and homelessness assistance by all governments of almost $10 billion a year—including around $6.8 billion of Commonwealth funding—housing and homelessness outcomes continue to decline.
The number of Australians accessing homelessness services has increased by eight per cent since 2011-12 to more than 255,000 people in 2014-15.
The Coalition Government called on the states and territories to now match the Commonwealth’s funding commitment to assist frontline services under the Transitional NPAH and progress the necessary reform to reduce the alarming rise in homelessness.
The Transitional NPAH will continue to prioritise funding to services providing support to women and children experiencing domestic or family violence, and homeless young people.
The Government has a strong track record of action on addressing domestic violence and today’s announcement complements our $100 million commitment as part of the Third Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.