Media Release

10 February 2017

We need your help urgently

Dear Friends

We need your help urgently. We need you to contact your local federal MP or senator.

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) provides for $230 million in funding for frontline homelessness services across Australia, shared evenly by federal and state/territory governments.

Late last year, the Federal Government provided a limited extension to the NPAH and called it 'transitional' with services now being funded up until 30 June 2018. This is a good first step towards the long-term certainty we need to start reducing homelessness in Australia - but it is only a first step.

Today we have learned that the Federal Government intends to axe the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) at the next budget.

As you know there are many factors driving people into housing crisis and homelessness every day. These range from unaffordable rents and a lack of public housing to family violence, unemployment and health crises. Last year, at McAuley House, we accommodated and supporting 59 women, the majority of whom had experienced family violence and all were previously homeless.

Despite this short extension to national funding, Australia still lacks two important things. Firstly, long-term funding certainty so that services can get on with the important work of preventing and ending homelessness for individuals and families. Secondly,a national evidence-based strategy that connects both affordable housing and support services.

We, along with others, are calling on the Federal Government to sit down with the states/territories, service providers, policy experts and people who have experienced homelessness to develop a new national affordable housing and homelessness strategy. Without this national coordination we will not turn around increasing homelessness.

Please contact your local federal MP and/or senator urgently and make it clear that homelessness and poverty in your local community will get worse unless we have a new National Affordable Housing and Homelessness Strategy, which has to include a continuation of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA).

You can find contact details for your local MP(s) at this link.

Thanks again for your support,

Yours sincerely,

Jocelyn Bignold
CEO, McAuley Community Services for Women