Media Release

28 October 2014

Federal Government Shelves Homeless Policy Review

McAuley Community Services for Women today slammed the announcement that the Federal Government’s policy review into homelessness had been shelved.

“The numbers of people who are homeless are growing all the time and we need assurance now about future funding for vital services,” said Jocelyn Bignold, CEO of McAuley Community Services for Women.

“We are talking about people’s lives. We know women are returning to unsafe homes because there is nowhere else for them to go,” she said.

“Each month women leave our safe house – Victoria’s only 24/7 crisis accommodation – and the majority are homeless: they don’t return home instead they go to families and friends to couch surf, live in cars, go to other refuges and – if they are lucky – into transitional housing.”

Ms Bignold said that a commitment to “a considered, methodical and measured approach to addressing the complex issue of homelessness” was shorthand for ducking the issue.

“We are launching our Victorian election campaign on Thursday asking electoral candidates to make public their policies on homelessness, public housing, family violence and mental health ahead of the election on 29 November.

“Today I ask the Federal Government what its policies are, what its commitment is because at the moment homelessness does appear to be the safer option for women and children/”

Media inquiries; Penny Underwood on (03) 9818 8540.