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Joint letter to increase income support

To: The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister
Cc. The Hon Jim Chalmers MP, Treasurer
Cc: The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Minister for Social Services

Increase income support to reduce homelessness

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to urge you to increase income support payments in the 2024 Budget to better enable struggling renters to keep up with the rising cost of rent.

More than 30% of Australian households are renters. The inability to keep up with rising rents is a major and growing cause of severe financial stress and homelessness.

Inadequate income support is both driving increased homelessness, and preventing people from gaining a new tenancy and escaping homelessness.

Homelessness services simply cannot keep up with increased demand for support. More Australians have no alternative to sleeping rough or in their cars. This is impacting young people, families with children, single adults and older Australians.

The situation is especially dire for people reliant on income support payments. In June 2022, 63% of JobSeeker recipients and 75% of Youth Allowance recipients were in rental stress, even after receiving CRA.

While we recognised and greatly valued the income support increases delivered by your Government in the 2023 Budget, rapid rental growth means much of this increased support has been swallowed up in extra rent payments, with some renters further behind even after these increases.[Link to HA release for tomorrow]

Increasing the base rates of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and related working-age payments are an immediate and effective way to relieve the profound financial stress driving people into homelessness.

We are seeking your commitment to:

Kate Colvin

CEO, Homelessness Australia

on behalf of:

Sign the joint letter to increase income support

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