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Over 180 organisations urge Treasurer Frydenberg not to cut $56 million from homelessness services

March 17, 2021

Media release – Melbourne, February 

Over 180 organisations urge Treasurer Frydenberg not to cut $56 million from homelessness services 

Homelessness services across the country, including domestic and family violence crisis accommodation services, are set to have over $56 million cut from their budgets by June 2021 unless the Federal Government agrees to fully fund services. 

Homelessness Australia Chair Jenny Smith says “In the last financial year, three in every four people using homelessness services were women and children, many of whom were fleeing family violence. 

“Cutting $56.7 million from homelessness services means there will be more than 500 fewer frontline workers. That will result in more women and children who are fleeing violence and who need help being turned away, putting them at risk of returning to violence or ending up on the street. 

“Last year, over 95,000 people missed out on getting support because the resources just weren’t there. Of the 260 people services had to tragically turn away each day, two-thirds of them were women and girls. 

Over 180 CEOs from front line homelessness services and other sector organisations have signed a joint letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, calling on him to reinstate the scheduled budget cuts before the Federal Budget in May. 

Homelessness Australia Chair Jenny Smith says cutting funding for services just as demand soars is short sighted and heartless. 

“Homelessness services are already bracing for a huge rise in demand when the JobSeeker payment is drastically reduced at the end of March. Cutting service capacity right when more people will need support, is put simply, cruel,” Smith says. 

The $56.7 million relates to Federal funding for Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation for homelessness services.1 

1 The Federal Government funds Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation to contribute towards the increased staff costs resulting from the 2012 Fair Work Commission decision to increase community sector wages. The planned cut will reduce funding to pre-ERO levels, though staff will continue to be paid at the increased rate, resulting in less staff employed. 

“The Federal Government has committed ongoing ERO funding to Department of Social Services funded community services and to community legal services, but has not yet committed funding for homelessness services. While the states and territories must continue to pay their half, we need Treasurer Frydenberg to act urgently to protect women and children fleeing violence, and others needing vital homelessness supports. 

Media contact: Kye White 0419 116 269 or kye@chp.org.au

READ THE JOINT LETTER

Organisations that have signed onto the joint letter:

  • 55 Central Inc.
  • Accordwest
  • ACT Council of Social Service
  • ACT Shelter
  • Anglicare WA
  • Annie North
  • ARC Justice
  • Armidale Family Support Service Inc.
  • Armidale Volunteer Referral Service
  • Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Inc
  • B Miles Women’s Foundation
  • Berry Street
  • Beryl Women Inc.
  • Bethany Community Support Inc.
  • BeyondHousing
  • Bondi Beach Cottage Incorporated
  • Bonnie Support Services Ltd.
  • Brimbank City Council
  • Brisbane Youth Service
  • Caroline Chisholm Society
  • Carries Place
  • Carrie’s Place Domestic Violence & Homelessness Services Inc
  • Catholic Social Services Victoria
  • CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay
  • CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains
  • Centre Against Violence
  • Centre For Non-Violence
  • CEWA
  • CHIRP Community Health
  • Coast Shelter
  • Communicare
  • Community Housing Industry Association
  • Community Information & Support Victoria (CISVic)
  • Community Resources Limited
  • Community Restorative Centre
  • Council to Homeless Persons
  • Croghan, Rockmore & Associates
  • Detour House Inc
  • Domestic Violence NSW
  • DV West
  • EACH social & community health
  • Eastern Region Domestic Violence Services Network Inc.
  • Emerge women and children’s support network
  • ermha365
  • Flat Oåut Inc.
  • Fresh Hope
  • Fusion Australia
  • Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Gippsland Lakes Complete Health Ltd
  • Good Samaritan Inn
  • Holy Fools Inc
  • Homelessness NSW
  • Hope Street Youth and Family Services Limited
  • Housing Plus
  • Illawarra Women’s Health Centre
  • Immigration Advice and Rights Centre
  • inCommunity Inc
  • Indigo Junction
  • Inspire Youth and Family Services
  • inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
  • Jacaranda Cottage
  • Jacaranda Housing
  • Jesuit Social Services
  • Juno
  • Justice Connect
  • Kids Under Cover
  • Kingsway Care
  • Kingsway Community Church
  • Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation
  • Lake Tyers Aborigional Trust
  • Latitude: Directions for Young People
  • Launch Housing
  • LCN Ltd YouthLinks
  • Liberty Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services
  • Lighthouse Foundation
  • Lillian Howell Project IncLinking Communities Network Ltd
  • Lirata Ltd
  • Mary’s House Services
  • McAuley Community Services for Women
  • McCormack Housing
  • MDB Consulting
  • Melbourne City Mission
  • Merri Outreach Support Service Ltd
  • Micah Projects
  • Mind Australia
  • Mission Australia
  • Molonglo Support Services Ltd
  • Monaro Community Access Service
  • Moving Forward
  • Multicultural Futures
  • My Foundations Youth Housing Ltd
  • Narrabri & District Community Aid Service Inc
  • Neami National
  • Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
  • No to Violence
  • North and North West Community Legal Service
  • Northern Rivers Community Gateway
  • Nova for Women and Children
  • NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS)
  • NT Council of Social Service
  • Orana NSW Inc
  • Orana Support Service Incorporated
  • Orange Sky
  • Parkerville Children and Youth Care
  • Penrith Women’s Health Centre
  • Platform Youth Service
  • Positive Life NSW
  • Project Youth
  • Public Interest Advocacy Centre
  • RMIT University School of Social Work
  • Ruah Community Services
  • Sacred Heart Mission
  • Safe Futures Foundation
  • Shane Snellgrove Consulting
  • Shelter NSW
  • Shelter WA
  • Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group T/A Rosa Coordinated Care
  • Sisters Housing Enterprises (S.H.E) Inc.
  • Social Futures
  • South Port Community Housing Group
  • South West Refuge Inc
  • Southern Youth and Family Services
  • Southside Community Care Inc.
  • SSI
  • St Bart’s
  • St Benedict’s Community Centre
  • St Patrick’s Community Support Centre Limited
  • St Vincent de Paul Society National Council
  • St Vincent de Paul Society NSW
  • St Vincent de Paul WA
  • St. Mary’s House Of Welcome
  • StreetSmart Australia
  • Stride
  • Sunbury & Cobaw Community Health
  • Sunbury Winter Shelter
  • Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra (SAHSSI) Ltd
  • Taldumande Youth Service
  • Tenants’ Union of NSW
  • TFSS
  • The Bridge Youth Service
  • The Deli Women & Children’s Centre
  • The Haymarket Foundation Ltd.
  • The Living Room Primary Health  Service
  • The Northern Centre
  • The Privileged Few
  • The Salvation Army Australia
  • The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre (SAFV Centre)
  • The Wayside Chapel
  • Thorne Harbour health
  • Tumut Regional Family Services Inc.
  • Uniting Vic.Tas
  • Uniting WA
  • Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)
  • Victorian Public Tenants Association
  • VincentCare Victoria
  • WA Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Wayside Chapel Kings Cross
  • We Are Community Incorporated
  • Wentworth Community Housing – Specialist Homelessness Team
  • Western Australian Council of Social Services
  • Windana Drug & Alcohol Recovery
  • Windus
  • Wintringham
  • Wollongong Emergency Family Housing
  • Wombat Housing Support Services Inc
  • Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre
  • Women’s Community Shelters
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
  • Womens Health and Family Services
  • Women’s Health West
  • Women’s Housing Company
  • Women’s Housing Ltd
  • Women’s Liberation Halfway House
  • Women’s Shelter Armidale
  • WRISC Family Violence Support Inc
  • Yes Unlimited
  • Yfoundations
  • Yorgum Healing Seevices
  • Young Crisis Accommodation Centre Inc
  • Youth Off the Streets
  • Youth Projects
  • YWCA Australia
  • YWCA Canberra
  • Zonta House Refuge Association Inc.


1
The Federal Government funds Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation to contribute towards the increased staff costs resulting from the 2012 Fair Work Commission decision to increase community sector wages. The planned cut will reduce funding to pre-ERO levels, though staff will continue to be paid at the increased rate, resulting in less staff employed.

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