Abbott Government Shortchanges Homeless Victorians

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, today demanded that the Abbott Government improve on its funding offer for homelessness services, which will short-change homeless Victorians out of $1 million per year.

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) began in 2009. Victoria has committed funding to extend the Agreement for a further three years to provide the sector with more certainty, but the Abbott Government’s two-year offer falls short.

The Federal funding offer of $22.79 million a year represents a cut of $1 million a year to Victoria’s homelessness services.

State and Federal Liberal Governments have previously cut $470 million over four years from Victoria’s housing budget, forcing more people to turn to homelessness services for support.

The NPAH funds a range of homelessness support agencies, who are deeply worried that their funding will be cut.

The current offer will come at the expense of groups such as rough sleepers, homeless former veterans, the elderly and homeless Aboriginal people, as well as crucial rental brokerage services. These services will not be given priority.

The Abbott Government claims that it is giving priority to young people, and women and children experiencing family violence, but is not offering any extra funding for these priority groups. The Andrews Labor Government, which leads the nation in addressing family violence, calls on the Abbott Government to make people fleeing family violence a genuine priority by allocating extra funding.

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