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Homelessness: Australia’s shameful story of policy complacency and failure continues

Hal Pawson and Cameron Parsell write in The Conversation (15.5.18) that, a decade after the launch of a national campaign against homelessness, the trends in Australian cities are all going the wrong way. A new annual report highlights what's gone wrong and what must be done to address this problem.

'Exactly a decade ago in 2008, the Australian government committed to an ambitious strategy to halve national homelessness by 2020. Through stepped-up early intervention, better homelessness services and an expanded supply of affordable housing, the problem would be tackled with conviction. Instead, as succeeding governments regrettably abandoned the 2008 strategy, homelessness in Australia has been on the rise.

'Last week’s federal budget offered no response to this concern. And the problem is fast getting worse, as highlighted in our new Australian Homelessness Monitor, prepared for independent community organisation Launch Housing. Emulating a respected UK annual monitoring project, this report is a comprehensive national analysis of the state of homelessness in Australia together with the potential policy, economic and social drivers of the trends across the country.

'Recently published 2016 Census statistics showed a 14% increase in overall homelessness in Australia since 2011. That’s well ahead of the nation’s population growth rate. Our major cities have seen much larger rises in homelessness. Recent increases have been especially big in Sydney (up 48% since 2011), Darwin (up 36%) and Brisbane (up 32%).'

 

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