The Australian Senate has today called on the Federal Government to take a national approach to homelessness and to develop a National Homelessness Plan. Australian Greens Housing Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, moved the motion which was cosponsored by Labor and supported by the Centre Alliance, One Nation and Senators Hinch and Storer. The Liberals, Nationals and Katter's Australian Party voted against. The motion is copied below.
The Coalition Government has failed to commit to any specific targets to reduce homelessness, which has risen to 14% and the number of people sleeping rough has risen by 20% since 2011. Homelessness service providers are calling for a national solution to end homelessness.
Senator Faruqi said: “The Senate has called out the Coalition Government’s failure to commit to a national approach to ending homelessness in Australia. This Government has no specific targets to reduce homelessness, despite 100,000 people now without a home. People are sleeping rough with no roof over their head and no bed to sleep in. We need urgent action at all levels of government.
“The homelessness services sector has been crying out for national leadership on this issue and it is really disappointing that the Coalition Government continue to shirk their responsibilities and have voted against this motion.
“We know that the number of Australians seeking assistance for homelessness is growing every year. The situation is getting worse, not better, and without urgent intervention, coupled with significant financial resources and reform of the housing market, more and more people will be pushed into homelessness.
“Everyone can have a roof over their head if the Government invested in services and through a big increase in public and community housing stock.
“Every person has a right to safe, secure and permanent housing” she concluded.
Full text of the motion
That the Senate:
a) The Coalition Government has failed to commit to any specific targets to reduce homelessness
b) Homelessness has risen by 14% and the number of people sleeping rough has risen by an alarming 20% since 2011
c) Homelessness service providers are calling for a national solution to end homelessness
2) Calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a well-resourced National Homelessness Strategy that:
a) has specific targets to reduce homelessness;
b) develops and implements approaches, in partnership with States and Territories, to prevent homelessness;
c) develops and implements a framework of continued support for people to break the cycle of homelessness