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A research on the issue of homelessness in the major cities in australia

Messenger Exactly a decade ago in 2008, the Australian government committed to an ambitious strategy to halve national homelessness by 2020.

  • Disappointingly, the federal budget provided no indication that such developments are in prospect;
  • These are the states where economies and property markets have been relatively strong over the past few years;
  • And the problem is fast getting worse, as highlighted in our new Australian Homelessness Monitor , prepared for independent community organisation Launch Housing;
  • In South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, where these factors have been less evident, the rate of homeless growth has been lower;
  • While placing faith in philanthropy, such sentiment is underpinned by a stubborn belief that we can rely on market forces to provide suitable and affordable housing for disadvantaged Australians — just as much as for all other citizens.

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.

And the problem is fast getting worse, as highlighted in our new Australian Homelessness Monitorprepared for independent community organisation Launch Housing.

The State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities

Emulating a respected UK annual monitoring projectthis 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.

Our major cities have seen much larger rises in homelessness. Homeless numbers will keep rising until governments change course on housing Concerningly, the numbers of people sleeping rough have been growing particularly fast. Although offset by periodic rehousing initiatives for long-term street homeless, five-year increases in the municipalities of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have exceeded the national trend.

The University of Western Australia

This was especially true in Melbourne. Why are the numbers soaring? As our report this year highlights, many policies, or policy failures, are implicated in these trends.

Such developments are critical in a housing market where, by international standards, subsidised social housing provision is minimal. Our report finds increases in homelessness have generally been much more rapid in capital cities.

Non-metropolitan areas have recorded much lower growth rates, or even reductions. In another pointer to housing market impacts, increases in homelessness have tended to be higher in the large eastern states.

Australian Homelessness Problem Far Bigger Than Expected

These are the states where economies and property markets have been relatively strong over the past few years. In South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, where these factors have been less evident, the rate of homeless growth has been lower. Governments have let this happen Despite these stark trends, recent Australian governments, while footing the bill for homelessness services rising well ahead of inflation, have presided over cuts in social and affordable housing.

  • In South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, where these factors have been less evident, the rate of homeless growth has been lower;
  • Our major cities have seen much larger rises in homelessness;
  • Homeless numbers will keep rising until governments change course on housing Concerningly, the numbers of people sleeping rough have been growing particularly fast;
  • Looking to the future, the ongoing restructuring of private rental markets seems likely to keep pushing up the numbers of people subject to housing insecurity.

Australia needs to reboot affordable housing funding, not scrap it In its 2014 budget, the Abbott government cancelled the National Rental Affordability Scheme. An increasingly underfunded social and affordable housing system leads to a burgeoning homelessness support system. While placing faith in philanthropy, such sentiment is underpinned by a stubborn belief that we can rely on market forces to provide suitable and affordable housing for disadvantaged Australians — just as much as for all other citizens.

It is clear from the latest statistics that the official approach moulded by this thinking has failed. What needs to be done?

Looking to the future, the ongoing restructuring of private rental markets seems likely to keep pushing up the numbers of people subject to housing insecurity. The availability of affordable low-rent housing continues to contract. For any realistic chance of progress, the Australian government needs to reconfirm recognition of homelessness as a social ill that must not be ignored. It needs to re-engage with the problem, starting with a coherent strategic vision to reduce the scale of homelessness by a measurable amount within a defined period.

And it needs to recommit to a level of government support that ensures enough social and affordable housing is provided to keep pace with growing need, at the very least. Disappointingly, the federal budget provided no indication that such developments are in prospect.