Skip to content

Peak housing bodies and unions urge end to funding uncertainty

Homelessness Australia 2 mins read

Leading homelessness advocates and unions have united in a joint push for state and federal housing ministers to plug a $73 million funding black hole that threatens to worsen the homelessness crisis by jeopardising the future of 700 critical support jobs, as ministers meet today.

Homelessness services are overwhelmed by surging demand as the nation faces its worst housing crisis in living memory.

Each day homelessness services are forced to turn away 295 people due to a lack of resources. New analysis of the most recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data reveals the number of children sleeping rough, even after seeking homelessness assistance, has surged 20 per cent.

Homelessness Australia calculates an additional $450 million is needed to meet demand for homelessness support. Despite surging demand, services are staring down the barrel of funding cuts. A $73 million funding black hole exists because funding previously provided to meet the costs of the  Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) expires in June 2024.

The joint letter outlines the severe consequences if the $73 million funding shortfall is not fixed. “If the funding cut proceeds, homelessness service capacity will be slashed by more than 700 homelessness workers nationally, supercharging pressure on an already overwhelmed homelessness system,” the letter reads.

Kate Colvin, CEO of Homelessness Australia, said the uncertainty was playing havoc with Australia’s response to the crisis. "The reality on the ground is heartbreaking. Every day, families and children are left without a roof over their heads, sleeping in cars or worse. This is not just a funding issue. It's a human crisis that demands compassion and commitment."

The letter notes findings from a recent survey of 252 workers in frontline homelessness support services, showing the emotional toll of having to turn people away. Concerningly, 56 per cent of respondents rated the emotional impact at the maximum score of ten, with 84 per cent highlighting the detrimental effects of potential funding cuts.

“Workers in this sector are confronted by extremely difficult choices already, like picking between a mother and child fleeing violence or a teenager without a home. The last thing they need is uncertainty about their job or that of their colleague,” Colvin said.

Negotiations on homelessness funding over the next five years from July 2024 are set to take place at the Housing and Homelessness Ministerial Council meeting today.

Signatories to the letter, including Homelessness Australia, the Australian Services Union, Community Housing Industry Association, and ACOSS, are urging an immediate guarantee that funding will not be cut. They are also calling for plans to increase service capacity to meet the demand from Australians facing homelessness.

For interviews: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032


More from this category

  • Political, Women
  • 17/04/2024
  • 07:00
Monash University

New research explores why young women in Australia are reluctant to enter politics

Despite growing momentum to increase female representation in Australia’s national parliament, it continues to be a male dominated domain. New research from Monash University explores why young women still feel reluctant to become a member of the national parliament. The research, Investigating the ambitions of young women to run for national parliament: the case of Australia, found that for many young women the appeal of becoming an MP was significantly curtailed by beliefs that the institution maintains stereotypical gender norms as well as a masculine, misogynistic culture. Many women were also more likely to doubt their ability to participate in…

  • Engineering, Political
  • 16/04/2024
  • 12:25
Monash University

Monash expert: new traces of asbestos found in mulch

Following news that asbestos has been found at a Cranbourne reserve, a Monash researcher is available to discuss how world-first technology can detect asbestos in waste.Monash PhD candidate Diani Sirimewan has led the development of new cutting-edge technology capable of recognising tiny asbestos particles inside mulch and recycled soil.Researchers are currently trialling the technology in robotic arms at the University’s Clayton campus.Diani Sirimewan, PhD candidate, Automation and Sustainability in Construction and Intelligent Infrastructure (ASCII) Lab, Faculty of EngineeringContact details: +61 408 508 454 or How construction waste is processed and the risks Insights from recent visits to Victoria’s major…

  • Defence, Political
  • 15/04/2024
  • 15:32
La Trobe University

Media Alert: Tensions in the Middle East

As the Middle East enters another period of heightened conflict and uncertainty, experts from La Trobe University are available to discuss the drivers of these tensions and their impacts on regional peace and security. Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi Senior Lecturer, Politics at La Trobe University.E: M: 0403 000 570 Dr Ibrahimi can discuss the following topics: Analysis of the current tensions and conflicts between Iran and Israel. The likely impact of Iran-Israel tensions between Israel on the broader Middle East politics. General contextual analysis of Iran’s regional policies. Analysis of how Iranian domestic contexts and factors shape Iran’s regional foreign…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.