AHURI evidence informs government homelessness Inquiries

Victorian and Federal Parliamentary Committees examine homelessness

22 July 2020

AHURI has presented submissions to both the Federal and Victorian Governments’ current inquiries into homelessness, with Dr Michael Fotheringham, Chief Executive of AHURI, speaking as a witness to both inquires in early July.

As a part of his presentation to the Victorian Government’s Inquiry, Dr Fotheringham pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that there is a political will to house rough sleepers and protect them from getting the disease, as simply doing nothing is understood to be unacceptable and this raises important questions for homelessness post-pandemic:

‘When do the health consequences of homelessness become acceptable again? Because we already know … that homelessness leads to serious health consequences … At what point do they become acceptable again? I do not believe that there is a time when having rough sleepers in a relatively affluent society becomes palatable once more,’ said Dr Fotheringham.

At the House of Representatives Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia, Dr Fotheringham spoke on the need for a move towards a national framework for addressing homelessness, to achieve more certainty for the service systems in each state and territory, reduce inefficiencies and lead to better service coordination. A crucial feature of such a framework would be ‘to have locally relevant service coordination and local service offerings,’ said Dr Fotheringham.

AHURI’S submissions to both the Australian Government House of Representatives Inquiry and Victorian Government Inquiry are available to download.