Senate Affordable Housing inquiry (December 2014)

As previously advised, Homelessness Australia (HA) wishes to make a late submission to the above inquiry. We would be grateful if the Committee could consider our submission, which focuses on what client data collected by Specialist Homelessness Services (SHSs) and reported on by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows about the relationship between homelessness and housing affordability.

First, however, we would like to make a point about improving other aspects of the evidence base. In HA’s view, it is time that data about all government policies that contribute to, or detract from, supply of affordable housing, particularly in the private market, was published in the annual Review of Government Services, rather than that publication focusing only on social housing supply and demand-side housing assistance.

Government contributions to poor housing affordability must be quantified and addressed.

A comprehensive research survey by Gronda et al indicated that accountability frameworks for service delivery to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness would be most effective if:

  • they focused more on sustaining housing and less on obtaining it; and
  • accountability for outcomes was shared between mainstream and specialist services.