During Homelessness Week, Lord Mayors of Australia’s capital cities have reaffirmed their collective action to advocate for housing and support for those vulnerable members of our communities at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Given Australia’s population distribution, the greatest number of people at risk of homelessness are living in greater capital cities, in both central and suburban locations. Local governments are increasingly responding and implementing programs to deliver more affordable housing and responding to all forms of homelessness.
In local communities right across Australia people are experiencing acute housing stress, from rough sleeping to severely overcrowded accommodation and rental stress. Australian Local Governments have historically occupied an ambiguous position when it comes to responding to homelessness. Councils do not hold the funding and policy levers to institute reform or redesign entire specialist service systems. However, and despite this, Councils across Australia not only play a critical role within local homelessness service systems but often lead efforts to coordinate local services, boldly advocate for housing and homelessness reform at all levels of government and fund a myriad of invaluable local programs and projects.
“The solution to homelessness is a home. Investing in social and affordable housing, combined with relevant support services will deliver well documented benefits for individuals, communities and our nation” said CCCLM Chair, Lord Mayor of Perth Basil Zempilas.
“Homelessness week is a chance to draw attention to the plight of those sleeping rough or struggling with housing stress” added the Lord Mayor, “the reality is we face a housing crisis every day of the year. We won’t fix this crisis without significant investment in social and affordable housing. We need our State and Federal representatives to consider housing essential infrastructure, and urgently provide the investment that can break the cycle of homelessness.”
We welcome the announcement of the Albanese Government and its commitment to deliver a housing reform agenda through a new National Housing and Homelessness Plan and we look forward to meaningful engagement in the development of the plan and delivery of positive outcomes.