The following fact sheet highlights the Australian and Queensland governments' efforts to reduce homelessness and includes details on Queensland’s Implementation Plan under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
Homelessness in Queensland
According to the Counting the Homeless report, 26,782 Queenslanders were homeless on Census night 2006. Of these:
- 5,165 people were sleeping rough
- 51 per cent were aged 34 or younger
- 16 per cent were aged 12 to 18 years
- 11 per cent were children under 12 years who were with either one or both parents
- 8.1 per cent were Indigenous.
What we are doing
The Australian and Queensland Governments are committed to reducing homelessness.
In December 2008, the Australian Government released a White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, which called on all levels of government, business, the not-for-profit sector and the community to join together to reduce homelessness.
The Road Home outlined the need for new investment in homelessness and reform of existing services. Homelessness should be prevented wherever possible. People who experience homelessness should be supported to move quickly through the crisis system into long term housing and at the same time get help to reconnect with education, employment and the community. Mainstream services and homelessness services have to work together more effectively to reduce homelessness.
In The Road Home, the Australian Government adopted two headline goals:
- to halve the rate of overall homelessness by 2020
- offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.
The White Paper also included interim targets to 2013 to contribute to these long term goals.
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Work already under way
In The Road Home the Australian Government committed to boost its efforts across all areas of government to achieve the 2020 headline goals and interim targets for reducing homelessness. This is especially important in areas such as social housing, employment, income support and aged care.
Specific Australian Government initiatives include:
- $1.17 billion to build over 4,000 new social housing dwellings across Queensland as part of the $5.6 billion Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan
- an additional 306 houses are being built under the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing at a cost of $80.1 million
- improvements to Centrelink's capacity to respond to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- additional emergency relief funding, more personal helpers and mentors for people living with severe mental illness, innovative employment services and increased capital and recurrent funding for elderly people who are homeless.
New work through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH)
As part of The Road Home, in December 2008, the Council of Australian Governments established a National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. Under the Agreement the Australian Government has agreed to provide additional funding for homelessness to the states and territories who have agreed to match Australian Government funding and deliver services and capital projects that will contribute to an overall reduction in homelessness.
The Australian and Queensland governments will contribute $284.1 million over five years to reduce homelessness under the Agreement. Queensland has developed an Implementation Plan setting out new initiatives and services which will make a substantial contribution toward the achievement of the 2013 interim targets to reduce homelessness.
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The Implementation Plan
Queensland's NPAH Implementation Plan includes specific measures for particular groups such as rough sleepers and young people.
Under the Agreement Queensland is delivering a number of initiatives. Some of these include:
A Place to Call Home
- 143 homes for people experiencing homelessness will be purchased or built across Queensland. Support for people moving into these homes will be provided through Referral for Active Intervention and Family Intervention Services.
Supported Accommodation for Young People
- Supported accommodation for young people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness to assist these young people to achieve educational and training outcomes and increase their capacity to live independently and reconnect with their families and local community.
Post Care Support for Young People Exiting Care with a Disability
- Provides a range of care to young people with a disability who are turning 18 years of age and who are exiting the care of the state to community-based living and independent adult life. The service will provide support arrangements appropriate to the person’s needs to ensure they do not become homeless.
Street to Home
- Assertive Outreach teams will bring people off the street into the housing they need to end their homelessness permanently. The teams will provide support until they are ready to move into permanent accommodation.
Common Ground Brisbane
- Long-term housing and on-site support to people who are chronically homeless or at risk of homelessness to assist them to regain independence and stability.
Home Stay Support
- Vulnerable families and singles will be assisted to maintain their tenancies through the provision of early intervention and post crisis support.