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Emergency help needed for homeless now

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 28 Nov 2012

Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam will welcome Swags For The Homeless founder Tony Clark at Parliament House today, and urge the Government and Opposition to embrace major reforms to tackle long-term homelessness so that emergency interventions are not necessary in the future.

"Nearly 7,000 Australians sleep rough on any given night, according to the 2011 Census. We need to give whatever help we can to the homeless right now and Swags for the Homeless are providing backpack beds to those sleeping rough. They need and deserve Government support for this work.

"Every day more than half the people who request immediate accommodation from homelessness services are turned away. Two in every three children who need support are also turned away. If we have a 59 per cent turn away rate from those seeking services - then we have at least a 59 per cent funding and services gap.

"We also need more affordable housing for a long term solution. In the first three months of 2012 more than 100,000 Australians accessed specialist homelessness services, and there are 250,000 households on the public housing waiting list.

"The White Paper on Homelessness has a target of halving homelessness by 2020 - but funding isn't committed for the next eight years. We need to see a long term plan with funding committed."

People turned away from Government funded specialist homelessness services 2010/11:

Homelessness Australia fact sheet:


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