Priorities for the Federal Budget 2015-16

Homelessness Australia affirms that the Commonwealth’s budget should be based on the values of its people; that all members of society should share in Australia, and that government has a responsibility to help people develop their strengths and their potential.

Homelessness Australia recognises that, with a Review of Federation in progress, the future of housing and homelessness, in the national arena is uncertain. Yet there is much certainty in the serious social and economic problems that cause, and are the result of, homelessness.

Homelessness Australia recognises the universal human right 25 (1) - “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”. Homelessness Australia also understands that as a nation we make sure revenue and expenditure are sustainable.

Addressing homelessness, and the issues surrounding it, requires carefully tailored solutions targeting discrete groups of people. If progress is to be made in preventing homelessness rather than simply responding to it, we must look to long-term solutions rather than short-term patches, and the Budget must be firmly rooted in evidence.

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which funds services supporting the most vulnerable in our community, expires on 30 June 2015. We strongly urge the Commonwealth Government to renew the NPAH for at least two years to give the community’s safety-net stability until at least July 2017.

One hundred and eighty services across Australia are funded by the NPAH. Without this vital funding some 80,000 men, women and children will not receive support, and could be forced to live on the street, in cars or back into dangerous situations.

To ensure those experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness are kept safe until they are strong and able to care for themselves, Homelessness Australia recommends the adoption of the following as priority items for the homelessness sector in the 2015-16 Budget.