Hope Street welcomes the State Government's commitment to breaking the cycle of homelessness and the Federal Government’s funding boost to further research into housing and homelessness announced in their Budgets this month.
Accessing safe and affordable housing is a major issue in Australia. Rising house prices, high rents, unemployment and low levels of social security payments are just some of the structural factors contributing to an increase in homelessness over the last year. Young people and young families who experience mental health, drug and alcohol, disability and family violence issues increasingly find themselves disadvantaged when trying to access the housing market.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 delivered on Tuesday 01 May 2018 confirms the State Government's investment in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan which forms part of the Towards Home program, and other initiatives responding to these critical issues.
Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett, says:
"The 2016 Census statistics show that, even in our prosperous country, thousands of people between 16 and 25 increasingly have no safe place they can call home. We believe that resolving homelessness is the responsibility of all levels of government, the community, families and individuals.
"Through the immense support and commitment of the Victorian Government, local government and other community stakeholders, Hope Street is piloting and establishing innovative program models to better respond to the needs of vulnerable young people and young families experiencing homelessness in targeted growth corridors of Melbourne. Young people have the right to safe, secure, affordable housing and to be treated as equal citizens in our society and this means equal access to resources, decision making and life options."
The Australian Government Budget 2018-19 released on Tuesday 08 May 2018 includes additional research funding:
"There is [however] a welcome boost to AHURI (Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute) of $5.5 million over three years for research and $4.6 million over four years for ABS and $0.02 million in 2018/19 for AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) to improve data related to housing and homelessness." -- Adrian Pisarski, Executive Officer, National Shelter in Housing and Homelessness ‘Forgotten and Abandoned’ in Budget – Pro Bono Australia
The recent federal and state budget announcements on housing and homelessness and their associated causes and outcomes are a step in the right direction, however there is always more that can be done to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. Hope Street will continue to work in partnership with governments, businesses, philanthropic organisations and the community, to assist at risk young people and young families overcome the formidable challenges of finding safe, secure and affordable housing.