Can we build a national response to homelessness?

Political parties to outline their responses to homelessness at the National Homelessness Conference

25 May 2018

With the recently released 2016 Census information showing a 13.7 per cent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness across Australia, the upcoming National Homelessness Conference is bringing together key politicians from Australia’s major political parties to examine the issue from a national perspective, and outline their party’s national policy thinking on tackling homelessness.

Together with Kate Colvin, Campaign Spokesperson, Everybody’s Home and Deputy CEO, Council to Homeless Persons, the panel will discuss what policies may best solve the devastating issue of homelessness. Kate will also outline the community housing and homelessness sector plans to transform the national housing market, and challenge all political parties to rethink housing policy and embrace new models of development, ownership and support.

The speakers from Australia’s main political parties are:

Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP, Assistant Minister for Children and Families, will expand upon what the Government has achieved in recent Budgets. The Federal Government has established the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) as an affordable housing bond aggregator to raise money for not-for-profit community housing providers; increased the capital gains tax discount for investors in affordable housing to low to moderate income tenants managed through a registered community housing provider; provided $375 million over three years from 2018–19 as part of the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement to fund front line homelessness services; and committed to expanding the potential role of Social Impact Investing with trials which aim to help young people at risk of homelessness.

Senator Hon Doug Cameron

Senator Hon Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, will speak on behalf of the Australian Labor Party. The ALP have stated that, in government, they would appoint a minister for housing and homelessness; work with the states to tackle housing affordability; boost support for homeless Australians by using a bond aggregator scheme to increase affordable housing investment in the community housing sector, and create a Safe Housing Fund to increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people exiting out-of-home care and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.

Senator Lee Rhiannon

Senator Lee Rhiannon, Housing and Homelessness Spokesperson for The Greens, campaigns both inside and outside of Parliament on housing affordability, renter’s rights, homelessness and social housing. The Greens policies include establishing a 10 year funding agreement for service providers assisting people experiencing homelessness; increasing funding to $320 million per year for homelessness services; and increasing investment in specialist homelessness services under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement to $500 million per year.

The National Homelessness Conference, Ending Homelessness Together, will run from the 6 and 7 August 2018 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The early bird registration is only available until Friday 1 June. For further information and to register, please visit the conference page on the AHURI website.

The 2018 National Homelessness Conference is co-convened by AHURI and Homelessness Australia.