Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today unveiled the federal government’s plans to halve homelessness in Australia by 2020. The white paper, The Road Home – a National Approach to Ending Homelessness, was welcomed by welfare agencies.
The Road Home – a National Approach to Ending Homelessness includes a commitment to reducing the numbers of people who become homeless when they leave out of home care, mental health facilities and prisons. The Rudd Government also promised to investment in more social and affordable housing to prevent homelessness becoming a reality for so many of the nation’s poor.
“We congratulate the Prime Minister and Minister Plibersek on their commitment to reviewing and investing in programs to halve homelessness by 2020, honouring an election promise made by the Rudd government” said Sue Cripps, CEO of Homelessness NSW, and founding member of Australians for Ending Homelessness.
Australians for Ending Homelessness spokesperson, Deb Tsorbaris said the Government’s ambitious target to half homelessness by 2020 and offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who need it was an incredibly significant commitment.
“With over 105,000 people homeless across Australia on any night, it will require a long-term commitment from both the Federal and State governments if we are serious about ending homelessness” said Ms Cripps.
“While we welcome this paper we recognise this as the start of the journey to end homelessness in Australia. There is a need for governments, community agencies and all Australians to work together on this issue,” Ms Cripps added.
“It is crucial that we build on this knowledge and experience, developed over the last three decades, to ensure that people experiencing homelessness exit as soon as possible into full community participation, breaking the cycle of homelessness”.