Coalition refuses to commit to halving homelessness by 2020
The Coalition has turned its back on 105,000 homeless Australians today by refusing to commit to the aim of halving homelessness by 2020.
Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Coalition's rejection of a Senate motion on homelessness showed "extraordinary hypocrisy".
"Last Thursday night myself, Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne took part in the CEO Sleep Out but today the Coalition refused to put their money where their sleeping bags are.
"Mr Turnbull said homelessness was a national disgrace - the additional disgrace is his party's refusal to do anything about it. Mr Pyne said we all need to dig deep, but it appears he meant the public - not the Liberal Party.
"With the number of homeless people in Australia rising by 17 per cent between the 2006 and 2011, we need to confront this challenge on two fronts: double the funding to homelessness services at the coalface, and deliver a long-term solution through programs to end the housing affordability crisis.
"There are seven thousand Australians literally sleeping on the streets tonight. Australians were turned away from homelessness services 137,000 times in 2011-12. The Greens' ‘Leaving No-one Behind' initiative will deliver the boost to homelessness services and the affordable housing needed to end ‘sleeping rough' by 2020.
"The housing crisis has spiralled out of control. Rents are going through the roof, and house prices make home ownership a distant dream for one third of Australians. The Greens' policies on converting empty homes to low-cost rentals and increasing supply of affordable housing through urban planning reforms will provide long-term solutions to homelessness.
"One in 200 Australians today is homeless. Today Tony Abbott's Coalition told the Parliament, and the country, that those people don't count. Australia deserves better - and the Greens will work to deliver it."
‘Leaving No-one Behind', The Greens homelessness initiative: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/sites/default/files/the_greens_home...
Convert To Rent: http://greens.org.au/files/Convert_to_rent.pdf
‘Transforming Perth' - delivering affordable housing through urban planning reform: http://wa.greens.org.au/content/transforming-perth