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Crikey says: remember the homelessness target?

What would your parliament look like with proportional representation? Inside the soap opera of Northern Territory politics. Are economic trends putting Glenn Stevens’ legacy at risk? Bernard Keane: the reality behind “Big Grog”. Guy Rundle on the building material that will save your life. What the energy market must learn from the telcos. Plus a Beacon of hope for journalism.

Remember when Kevin Rudd promised to halve the rate of homelessness in Australia?

That was 2010. On census night 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics counted 105,237 Australians living on the streets — a 17% increase over the previous five years. There’s no evidence to suggest that number isn’t higher now.

Rudd, in fact, did little to meet his promise. As the current federal government now complains, while Labor promised increased funding at the last election it didn’t make provision in the forward estimates and didn’t commit to a national agreement beyond the current deal, which expires in June.

Today, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews announced an extension and $115 million for housing and support services. But that’s some $44 million less than Labor promised — with no guarantee of funding after 12 months.

Charities have desperately welcomed the injection — but rightly complain about the lack of certainty in a one-year deal. The head of one homelessness charity told ABC Radio there’s currently a 200,000-home shortfall in supply.

Homelessness, like Aboriginal affairs has become, should be a bipartisan issue. Both sides have failed. The next 12 months are crucial in arresting an alarming trend.

4
  • 1
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Monday, 31 March 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately with both Rudd and Abbott, we have two politicians highly likely to talk up their own achievements, even if those policy achievements don’t actually exist.

  • 2
    Jill Baird
    Posted Monday, 31 March 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I feel strongly that something should be done about homelessness, but the first step is using ACCURATE statistics. Shame on you for quoting this:
    “On census night 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics counted 105,237 Australians living on the streets”
    The same website YOU quote goes on to mention that only 6% of these are sleeping rough or in improvised accommodation - i.e. on the streets. 

  • 3
    Jaybuoy
    Posted Monday, 31 March 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t PM Umbut think its a lifestyle choice like homosexuality..

  • 4
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    There is no shortage of bricks & mortar - it is the ludicrous cost that is the problem.
    Everytime the bizpage boosters extoll the virtues of rising houses prices so, because of negative gearing, rents rise.
    The ludicrous claim that N/G for investors provides rental housing (to pay off the mortgage + tax relief - lose/lose/WIN!)is bizarre - if fewer investors snaffled everything with a roof & 4 walls, then prices would not continuously rise, poorer people would be able to buy (for THEMSELVES)and rents would fall.
    But wouldn’t the pips squeak!

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